Though primary visual cortex is known to maintain its retinotopy in subjects with retinal degeneration despite prolonged visual loss, detailed knowledge of how optogenetic sensitization of higher order neurons manifests in restoration of visual cortical activity is currently lacking. Here, we report development and characterization of bioluminescent opsin for simultaneous optical modulation and imaging of retinal and cortical activities using spectrally separated activation and detection bands. This new bioluminescent technique does not require an additional phototoxic external excitation source (as used for fluorescence). We quantified changes in bioluminescence activities in visual cortex of mice upon visual stimulation of the retina. The observed increased neural activities were found to correlate with the visual stimulation patterns. This method will be useful for monitoring changes in visual cortical activities during progression and repair of retinal degenerative diseases. Further, with integration of stimulation source, we envision development of a modular and scalable interface system with the capability to serve a multiplicity of applications to modulate and monitor large-scale activity in the nervous system.
Samarendra K. Mohanty, Subrata Batabyal, Sivakumar Gajjeraman, Takeharu Nagai, and Weldon Wright, "Optical stimulation and monitoring of the visual system using bioluminescent opsin (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10482, Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation 2018, 104820L (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 27, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291754.5751478495001.
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