Deconstructing and reconstructing neural circuits for navigation and memory

Apr 25,
  • Time:
  • Location: MPFI - Elmore Auditorium
  • Host: Yingxue Wang
  • Speaker: Attila Losonczy

In this seminar, Dr. Losonczy will discuss how neural circuits are characterized by genetically and functionally diverse cell types. A mechanistic understanding of circuit function is predicated on linking the genetic and physiological properties of individual neurons. However, it remains highly challenging to map the functional properties of transcriptionally heterogeneous neuronal subtypes in mammalian cortical circuits in vivo. In my talk, he will summarize our recent efforts toward integrated physiological and molecular characterization of inhibitory and excitatory cell types in the mouse hippocampus during spatial navigation and learning. He will also introduce a robust two-photon nuclear phototagging (2P-NucTag) approach that we optimized for on-demand and indelible labeling of single neurons via a photoactivatable red fluorescent protein following in vivo functional characterization in behaving mice. He will demonstrate the utility of this function-forward pipeline by selectively labeling and transcriptionally profiling previously inaccessible ‘place’ and ‘silent’ cells in the mouse hippocampus. Our results reveal unexpected differences in gene expression between these hippocampal pyramidal neurons with distinct spatial coding properties. Our approaches enable molecular characterization of functionally identified neurons in behaving animals with previously unattainable precision.