Articles by Michael Kyweriga in JoVE
Other articles by Michael Kyweriga on PubMed
Neuroligin1 Drives Synaptic and Behavioral Maturation Through Intracellular Interactions The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. May, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23719805 In vitro studies suggest that the intracellular C terminus of Neuroligin1 (NL1) could play a central role in the maturation of excitatory synapses. However, it is unknown how this activity affects synapses in vivo, and whether it may impact the development of complex behaviors. To determine how NL1 influences the state of glutamatergic synapses in vivo, we compared the synaptic and behavioral phenotypes of mice overexpressing a full-length version of NL1 (NL1FL) with mice overexpressing a version missing part of the intracellular domain (NL1ΔC). We show that overexpression of full-length NL1 yielded an increase in the proportion of synapses with mature characteristics and impaired learning and flexibility. In contrast, the overexpression of NL1ΔC increased the number of excitatory postsynaptic structures and led to enhanced flexibility in mnemonic and social behaviors. Transient overexpression of NL1FL revealed that elevated levels are not necessary to maintain synaptic and behavioral states altered earlier in development. In contrast, overexpression of NL1FL in the fully mature adult was able to impair normal learning behavior after 1 month of expression. These results provide the first evidence that NL1 significantly impacts key developmental processes that permanently shape circuit function and behavior, as well as the function of fully developed neural circuits. Overall, these manipulations of NL1 function illuminate the significance of NL1 intracellular signaling in vivo, and enhance our understanding of the factors that gate the maturation of glutamatergic synapses and complex behavior. This has significant implications for our ability to address disorders such as autism spectrum disorders.
Neuronal Interaural Level Difference Response Shifts Are Level-dependent in the Rat Auditory Cortex Journal of Neurophysiology. Mar, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24335208 How does the brain accomplish sound localization with invariance to total sound level? Sensitivity to interaural level differences (ILDs) is first computed at the lateral superior olive (LSO) and is observed at multiple levels of the auditory pathway, including the central nucleus of inferior colliculus (ICC) and auditory cortex. In LSO, this ILD sensitivity is level-dependent, such that ILD response functions shift toward the ipsilateral (excitatory) ear with increasing sound level. Thus early in the processing pathway changes in firing rate could indicate changes in sound location, sound level, or both. In ICC, while ILD responses can shift toward either ear in individual neurons, there is no net ILD response shift at the population level. In behavioral studies of human sound localization acuity, ILD sensitivity is invariant to increasing sound levels. Level-invariant sound localization would suggest transformation in level sensitivity between LSO and perception of sound sources. Whether this transformation is completed at the level of the ICC or continued at higher levels remains unclear. It also remains unknown whether perceptual sound localization is level-invariant in rats, as it is in humans. We asked whether ILD sensitivity is level-invariant in rat auditory cortex. We performed single-unit and whole cell recordings in rat auditory cortex under ketamine anesthesia and measured responses to white noise bursts presented through sealed earphones at a range of ILDs. Surprisingly, we found that with increasing sound levels ILD responses shifted toward the ipsilateral ear (which is typically inhibitory), regardless of whether cells preferred ipsilateral, contralateral, or binaural stimuli. Voltage-clamp recordings suggest that synaptic inhibition does not contribute substantially to this transformation in level sensitivity. We conclude that the level invariance of ILD sensitivity seen in behavioral studies is not present in rat auditory cortex.
Synaptic Mechanisms Underlying Interaural Level Difference Selectivity in Rat Auditory Cortex Journal of Neurophysiology. Sep, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 25185807 The interaural level difference (ILD) is a sound localization cue that is extensively processed in the auditory brainstem and midbrain, and is also represented in the auditory cortex. Here we asked whether neurons in the auditory cortex passively inherit their ILD tuning from subcortical sources or whether their spiking preferences were actively shaped by local inhibition. If inherited, the ILD selectivity of spiking output should match that of excitatory synaptic input. If shaped by local inhibition, by contrast, excitation should be more broadly tuned than spiking output, with inhibition suppressing spiking for non-preferred stimuli. To distinguish between these two processing strategies, we compared spiking responses to excitation and inhibition in the same neurons across a range of ILDs and average binaural sound levels. We found that cells preferring contralateral ILDs (often called EI cells) followed the inheritance strategy. In contrast, cells that were unresponsive to monaural sounds but responded predominantly to near-zero ILDs (PB cells) instead showed evidence of the local processing strategy. These PB cells received excitatory inputs that were similar to those received by the EI cells. However, contralateral monaural sounds and ILDs greater than 0 dB elicited strong inhibition, quenching the spiking output. These results suggest that in the rat auditory cortex, EI cells do not utilize inhibition to shape ILD sensitivity, whereas PB cells do. We conclude that an auditory cortical circuit computes sensitivity for near-zero ILDs.
Optogenetic Approaches for Mesoscopic Brain Mapping Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2016 | Pubmed ID: 26965128 Recent advances in identifying genetically unique neuronal proteins has revolutionized the study of brain circuitry. Researchers are now able to insert specific light-sensitive proteins (opsins) into a wide range of specific cell types via viral injections or by breeding transgenic mice. These opsins enable the activation, inhibition, or modulation of neuronal activity with millisecond control within distinct brain regions defined by genetic markers. Here we present a useful guide to implement this technique into any lab. We first review the materials needed and practical considerations and provide in-depth instructions for acute surgeries in mice. We conclude with all-optical mapping techniques for simultaneous recording and manipulation of population activity of many neurons in vivo by combining arbitrary point optogenetic stimulation and regional voltage-sensitive dye imaging. It is our intent to make these methods available to anyone wishing to use them.