Remote Control of Neuronal Activity with a Light-Gated Glutamate Receptor

Stephanie Szobota, Pau Gorostiza, Filippo Del Bene, Claire Wyart, Doris L. Fortin, Kathleen D. Kolstad, Orapim Tulyathan, Matthew Volgraf, Rika Numano, Holly L. Aaron, Ethan K. Scott, Richard H. Kramer, John Flannery, Herwig Baier, Dirk Trauner, Ehud Y. Isacoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability to stimulate select neurons in isolated tissue and in living animals is important for investigating their role in circuits and behavior. We show that the engineered light-gated ionotropic glutamate receptor (LiGluR), when introduced into neurons, enables remote control of their activity. Trains of action potentials are optimally evoked and extinguished by 380 nm and 500 nm light, respectively, while intermediate wavelengths provide graded control over the amplitude of depolarization. Light pulses of 1-5 ms in duration at ∼380 nm trigger precisely timed action potentials and EPSP-like responses or can evoke sustained depolarizations that persist for minutes in the dark until extinguished by a short pulse of ∼500 nm light. When introduced into sensory neurons in zebrafish larvae, activation of LiGluR reversibly blocks the escape response to touch. Our studies show that LiGluR provides robust control over neuronal activity, enabling the dissection and manipulation of neural circuitry in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalNeuron
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2007

Keywords

  • CELLBIO
  • MOLNEURO
  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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