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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)
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 chronically monitor neuronal activity in the living brain is essential for understanding the organization and function of the nervous system. The genetically encoded green fluorescent protein-based calcium sensor GCaMP provides a powerful tool for detecting calcium transients in neuronal somata, processes, and synapses that are triggered by(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)
Genetically-encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) facilitate imaging activity of genetically defined neuronal populations in vivo. The high intracellular GECI concentrations required for in vivo imaging are usually achieved by viral gene transfer using adeno-associated viruses. Transgenic expression of GECIs promises important advantages, including(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)
Here we describe a knock-in mouse model for Cre-loxP-based conditional expression of TRPV1 in central nervous system neurons. Expression of Cre recombinase using biolistics, lentivirus or genetic intercrosses triggered heterologous expression of TRPV1 in a cell-specific manner. Application of the TRPV1 ligand capsaicin induced strong inward currents,(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)