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Must-Read Neural Circuit Papers in October 2018


Posted by Jami L. Milton, PhD - 11.12.2018

October brought enough neural circuit papers to scare you away from reading them all, so at least peruse our list to see which ones are your must reads.

1. Parabrachial CGRP Neurons Establish and Sustain Aversive Taste Memories by Jane Y. Chen by  Carlos A. Campos, Brooke C. Jarvie, Richard D. Palmiter. Neuron.

They reveal a critical role of calcitonin-gene-related peptide neurons in the parabrachial nucleus in both the acquisition and expression of an aversive taste memory. Furthermore, the frequency and duration of CGRPPBN stimulation influences the strength of the conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) acquired. They used Inscopix nVista technology to show that CGRPPBN neurons are active during expression of CTA.

Read more here

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2. Somatostatin Interneurons Facilitate Hippocampal-Prefrontal Synchrony and Prefrontal Spatial Encoding by  Atheir I. Abbas, Marina J.M. Sundiang, Britt Henoch, Mitchell P. Morton, Scott S. Bolkan, Alan J. Park, Alexander Z. Harris, Christoph Kellendonk, Joshua A. Gordon. Neuron.

They examine the role of somatostatin and parvalbumin interneurons during spatial working memory. They find that somatostatin, but not parvalbumin, interneurons support working memory performance by facilitating hippocampal-prefrontal interactions and associated spatial encoding.

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3. Lateral inhibition by Martinotti interneurons is facilitated by cholinergic inputs in human and mouse neocortex by Joshua Obermayer, Tim S. Heistek, Amber Kerkhofs, Natalia A. Goriounova, Tim Kroon, Johannes C. Baayen, Sander Idema, Guilherme Testa-Silva, Jonathan J. Couey & Huibert D. Mansvelder. Nature Communications.

Cholinergic inputs augment and speed up lateral inhibition between pyramidal neurons mediated by martinotti cells MCs, but not by basket cells (BCs). Optogenetically activated cholinergic inputs depolarize MCs through activation of ß2 subunit-containing nicotinic AChRs, not muscarinic AChRs, without affecting glutamatergic inputs to MCs. They also show in human neocortex that lateral inhibition is evolutionary conserved and is facilitated by ACh through similar mechanisms.

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4. The paraventricular thalamus is a critical thalamic area for wakefulness by Shuancheng Ren, Yaling Wang1, Faguo Yue, Xiaofang Cheng, Ruozhi Dang, Qicheng Qiao, Xueqi Sun, Xin Li, Qian Jiang, Jiwei Yao, Han Qin, Guanzhong Wang, Xiang Liao, Dong Gao, Jianxia Xia, Jun Zhang, Bo Hu, Junan Yan, Yanjiang Wang, Min Xu, Yunyun Han, Xiangdong Tang, Xiaowei Chen, Chao He, Zhian Hu. Science.

They recorded from neurons in the paraventricular thalamus and observed that both population and single-neuron activity were tightly coupled with wakefulness.

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5. Neonatal Tbr1 Dosage Controls Cortical Layer 6 Connectivity by  Siavash Fazel Darbandi, Sarah E. Robinson Schwartz, Qihao Qi, Rinaldo Catta-Preta, Emily Ling-Lin Pai, Jeffrey D. Mandell, Amanda Everitt, Anna Rubin, Rebecca A. Krasnoff, Sol Katzman, David Tastad, Alex S. Nord, A. Jeremy Willsey, Bin Chen, Matthew W. State, Vikaas S. Sohal, John L.R. Rubenstein. Neuron.

Several putative TBR1 targets are autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk genes. Here they integrate TBR1 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data from layer 6 neurons and activity of TBR1-bound candidate enhancers to provide evidence for how TBR1 regulates layer 6 properties.  They show TBR1 is in a central position both for ASD risk and for regulating transcriptional circuits that control multiple steps in layer 6 development essential for the assembly of neural circuits.

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6. The Basolateral Amygdala Is Essential for Rapid Escape: A Human and Rodent Study by David Terburg, Diego Scheggia, Rodrigo Triana del Rio, Floris Klumpers, Alexandru Cristian Ciobanu, Barak Morgan, Estrella R. Montoya, Peter A. Bos, Gion Giobellina, Erwin H. van den Burg, Beatrice de Gelder, Dan J. Stein, Ron Stoop, Jack van Honk . Cell.

By activating an inhibitory central amygdala pathway under conditions of imminent threat, they showed that the rodent and human basolateral amygdala play a key role in adaptively selecting and executing active escape responses rather than passive freezing behaviors.

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7. The Thalamostriatal Projections Contribute to the Initiation and Execution of a Sequence of Movements by Edgar Díaz-Hernández, Rubén Contreras-López, Asai Sánchez-Fuentes, Luis Rodríguez-Sibrían, Josué O. Ramírez-Jarquín, Fatuel Tecuapetla. Neuron.

They show that distinct thalamic inputs to different regions of the dorsal striatum critically modulate the initiation and execution of action sequences.

Read more here and here

8. A Head-Mounted Camera System Integrates Detailed Behavioral Monitoring with Multichannel Electrophysiology in Freely Moving Mice by Arne F. Meyer, Jasper Poort, John O’Keefe, Maneesh Sahani, Jennifer F. Linden. Neuron.

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9. Shared and distinct transcriptomic cell types across neocortical areas by Bosiljka Tasic, Zizhen Yao, Lucas T. Graybuck, Kimberly A. Smith, Thuc Nghi Nguyen, Darren Bertagnolli, Jeff Goldy, Emma Garren, Michael N. Economo, Sarada Viswanathan, Osnat Penn, Trygve Bakken, Vilas Menon, Jeremy Miller, Olivia Fong, Karla E. Hirokawa, Kanan Lathia, Christine Rimorin, Michael Tieu, Rachael Larsen, Tamara Casper, Eliza Barkan, Matthew Kroll, Sheana Parry, Nadiya V. Shapovalova, Daniel Hirschstein, Julie Pendergraft, Heather A. Sullivan, Tae Kyung Kim, Aaron Szafer, Nick Dee, Peter Groblewski, Ian Wickersham, Ali Cetin, Julie A. Harris, Boaz P. Levi, Susan M. Sunkin, Linda Madisen, Tanya L. Daigle, Loren Looger, Amy Bernard, John Phillips, Ed Lein, Michael Hawrylycz, Karel Svoboda, Allan R. Jones, Christof Koch & Hongkui Zeng. Nature.

They define 133 transcriptomic cell types by deep, single-cell RNA sequencing. By combining single-cell RNA sequencing and retrograde labelling, they match transcriptomic types of glutamatergic neurons to their long-range projection specificity, establishing a combined transcriptomic and projectional taxonomy of cortical cell types from functionally distinct areas of the adult mouse cortex.

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10. Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement by Michael N. Economo, Sarada Viswanathan, Bosiljka Tasic, Erhan Bas, Johan Winnubst, Vilas Menon, Lucas T. Graybuck, Thuc Nghi Nguyen, Kimberly A. Smith, Zizhen Yao, Lihua Wang, Charles R. Gerfen, Jayaram Chandrashekar, Hongkui Zeng, Loren L. Looger & Karel Svoboda. Nature.

Transcriptional profiling and axonal reconstructions identify two types of pyramidal tract neuron in the motor cortex: one type projects to thalamic regions and produces early and persistent preparatory activity, and the other type projects to motor centres in the medulla and produces motor commands.

Read more here and here

must-read oct svoboda paper

11. A corticopontine circuit for initiation of urination by Jiwei Yao, Quanchao Zhang, Xiang Liao, Qianwei Li, Shanshan Liang, Xianping Li, Yalun Zhang, Xiangning Li, Haoyu Wang, Han Qin, Meng Wang, Jingcheng Li, Jianxiong Zhang, Wenjing He, Wen Zhang, Tong Li, Fuqiang Xu, Hui Gong, Hongbo Jia, Xiaohong Xu, Junan Yan & Xiaowei Chen. Nature Neuroscience.

They “identified a small cluster of layer 5 neurons in the primary motor cortex whose activities tightly correlate with the onset of urination in freely behaving mice and increase dramatically during territorial marking. Optogenetically activating these neurons elicits contraction of the bladder and initiates urination, through their projections to the pontine micturition center, while silencing or ablating them impairs urination and causes retention of urine. Together these results reveal a novel cortical component upstream of the pontine micturition center that is critically involved in urination.”

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12. A mesocortical dopamine circuit enables the cultural transmission of vocal behaviour by Masashi Tanaka, Fangmiao Sun, Yulong Li & Richard Mooney. Nature.

A dopaminergic mesocortical circuit detects the presence of a tutor and helps to encode the performance of the tutor, facilitating the cultural transmission of vocal behaviour.

Read more here and here

13. Distributed network interactions and their emergence in developing neocortex by Gordon B. Smith, Bettina Hein, David E. Whitney, David Fitzpatrick & Matthias Kaschube. Nature Neuroscience.

In ferrets using in vivo widefield and two-photon calcium imaging of spontaneous activity patterns, they find that local connections in early cortical circuits can generate structured long-range network correlations that guide the formation of visually evoked distributed functional networks.

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14. A central amygdala to zona incerta projection is required for acquisition and remote recall of conditioned fear memory by Mu Zhou, Zhihui Liu, Maxwell D. Melin, Yi Han Ng, Wei Xu & Thomas C. Südhof. Nature Neuroscience.

Using "genetic tools of neural circuit tracing and manipulation, they identify a novel projection from the amygdala to the zona incerta—a nucleus not previously implicated in fear memory—that is essential for recent and remote fear memories."

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15. Brs3 neurons in the mouse dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate body temperature, energy expenditure, and heart rate, but not food intake by Ramón A. Piñol, Sebastian H. Zahler, Chia Li, Atreyi Saha, Brandon K. Tan, Vojtěch Škop, Oksana Gavrilova, Cuiying Xiao, Michael J. Krashes & Marc L. Reitman. Nature Neuroscience.

"BRS3 is a receptor regulating energy metabolism. The authors find that DMH Brs3 neurons control body temperature, energy expenditure, and heart rate, but not food intake. In contrast, PVH Brs3 neurons regulate food intake but not energy expenditure."

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16. Integration of gene expression and brain-wide connectivity reveals the multiscale organization of mouse hippocampal networks by Michael S. Bienkowski, Ian Bowman, Monica Y. Song, Lin Gou, Tyler Ard, Kaelan Cotter, Muye Zhu, Nora L. Benavidez, Seita Yamashita, Jaspar Abu-Jaber, Sana Azam, Darrick Lo, Nicholas N. Foster, Houri Hintiryan & Hong-Wei Dong. Nature Neuroscience.

Bienkowski et al. have created a new subregional atlas of the mouse hippocampus that integrates gene expression with anatomical connectivity to reveal the multiscale organization of the hippocampus and its connections throughout the brain.

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17. Prefrontal projections to the thalamic nucleus reuniens mediate fear extinction by Karthik R. Ramanathan, Jingji Jin, Thomas F. Giustino, Martin R. Payne & Stephen Maren. Nature Communications.

They demonstrated for the first time that the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus is required for both encoding and retrieving extinction memories.

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18. Mesopontine cholinergic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons drive stress-induced depressive-like behaviors by Sebastian P. Fernandez, Loïc Broussot, Fabio Marti, Thomas Contesse, Xavier Mouska, Mariano Soiza-Reilly, Hélène Marie, Philippe Faure & Jacques Barik. Nature Communications.

They show that chronic social stress exposure produces profound dysregulation of excitatory inputs from the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDTg) to the ventral tegmental area via corticotropin-releasing factor signaling. Selective inhibition of cholinergic, but not glutamatergic, LDTg neurons prevents stress-induced cellular adaptations within VTA DA neurons and the appearance of anhedonia and social withdrawal.

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19. Astrocytes integrate and drive action potential firing in inhibitory subnetworks by Tara Deemyad, Joel Lüthi & Nelson Spruston. Nature Communications.

Networks of astrocytes influence the spatiotemporal dynamics of neural networks by directly integrating neural activity and driving barrages of action potentials in some populations of inhibitory interneurons.

Read more here.

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