Benjamin R Arenkiel

Learn More
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a light-gated, cation-selective ion channel isolated from the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, we report the generation of transgenic mice that express a ChR2-YFP fusion protein in the CNS for in vivo activation and mapping of neural circuits. Using focal illumination of the cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb, we(More)
Fibroblast growth factor 8 (Fgf8) is expressed in many domains of the developing embryo. Globally decreased FGF8 signaling during murine embryogenesis results in a hypomorphic phenotype with a constellation of heart, outflow tract, great vessel and pharyngeal gland defects that phenocopies human deletion 22q11 syndromes, such as DiGeorge. We postulate that(More)
Rodents begin to use bilaterally coordinated, rhythmic sweeping of their vibrissae ("whisking") for environmental exploration around 2 weeks after birth. Whether (and how) the vibrissal control circuitry changes after birth is unknown, and the relevant premotor circuitry remains poorly characterized. Using a modified rabies virus transsynaptic tracing(More)
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is an aggressive childhood muscle cancer for which outcomes are poor when the disease is advanced. Although well-developed mouse models exist for embryonal and pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcomas, neither a spontaneous nor a transgenic mouse model of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma has yet been reported. We report the first mouse model of(More)
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (eRMS) shows the most myodifferentiation among sarcomas, yet the precise cell of origin remains undefined. Using Ptch1, p53 and/or Rb1 conditional mouse models and controlling prenatal or postnatal myogenic cell of origin, we demonstrate that eRMS and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) lie in a continuum, with satellite(More)
The continued addition of new neurons to mature olfactory circuits represents a remarkable mode of cellular and structural brain plasticity. However, the anatomical configuration of newly established circuits, the types and numbers of neurons that form new synaptic connections, and the effect of sensory experience on synaptic connectivity in the olfactory(More)
The vertebrate cranial neural crest cells give rise to many complex derivatives of the head, neck, and face, including neuronal and glial cells that act in concert for proper development of the anterior-peripheral nervous system. Several genes have been implicated in the processes of neural crest specification, migration, and differentiation; among these(More)
Brain function emerges from the morphologies, spatial organization and patterns of connectivity established between diverse sets of neurons. Historically, the notion that neuronal structure predicts function stemmed from classic histological staining and neuronal tracing methods. Recent advances in molecular genetics and imaging technologies have begun to(More)
The ability to control the electrical activity of a neuronal subtype is a valuable tool in deciphering the role of discreet cell populations in complex neural circuits. Recent techniques that allow remote control of neurons are either labor intensive and invasive or indirectly coupled to neural electrical potential with low temporal resolution. Here we show(More)
Although numerous molecules required for limb bud formation have recently been identified, the molecular pathways that initiate this process and ensure that limb formation occurs at specific axial positions have yet to be fully elucidated. Based on experiments in the chick, Fgf8 expression in the intermediate mesoderm (IM) has been proposed to play a(More)