Convection Enhanced Delivery of an Optogenetic Adeno-associated Viral Vector to the Rhesus Macaque Cortex with Online MRI Images

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

In non-human primate (NHP) optogenetics, infecting large cortical areas with viral vectors is often a difficult and time-consuming task. Here, we demonstrate the use of magnetic resonance (MR)-guided convection enhanced delivery (CED) of optogenetic viral vectors into primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices of macaques to obtain efficient, widespread cortical expression of light-sensitive ion channels. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding the red-shifted opsin C1V1 fused to yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) were injected into the cortex of rhesus macaques under MR-guided CED. Three months post-infusion, epifluorescent imaging confirmed large regions of optogenetic expression (>130 mm2) in M1 and S1 in two macaques. Furthermore, we were able to record reliable light-evoked electrophysiology responses from the expressing areas using micro-electrocorticographic arrays. Later histological analysis and immunostaining against the reporter revealed widespread and dense optogenetic expression in M1 and S1 corresponding to the distribution indicated by epifluorescent imaging. This technique enables us to obtain expression across large areas of the cortex within a shorter period of time with minimal damage compared to the traditional techniques and can be an optimal approach for optogenetic viral delivery in large animals such as NHPs. This approach demonstrates great potential for network-level manipulation of neural circuits with cell-type specificity in animal models evolutionarily close to humans.