8 March 2013 A combinatorial optogenetic approach to medial habenula function
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The habenula is a brain region found in all vertebrate species. It consists of medial and lateral subnuclei which make complex descending connections to the brainstem. Although the medial habenula (MHb) and its projection, the fasciculus retroflexus (FR), have been recognized for decades, their function remains obscure. The small size of the MHb in rodents, and the cellular and molecular complexity of this region, have made it difficult to study the function of this region with high specificity. Here we describe a Cre-mediated genetic system for expressing the microbial opsin channelrhodopsin (ChR2) specifically in the dorsal (dMHb) and ventral (vMHb) medial habenula. Genetically targeted expression of ChR2 allows MHb neurons to be selectively activated with light in acute brain slices with electrophysiological readouts, and in vivo by means of custom-built fiber optic cannulas. These tools will allow highly specific studies of MHb circuitry and the role of the MHb in behaviors related to addiction and mood regulation.
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Eric E. Turner, Eric E. Turner, Yun-Wei Hsu, Yun-Wei Hsu, Si Wang, Si Wang, Glenn Morton, Glenn Morton, Hongkui Zeng, Hongkui Zeng, } "A combinatorial optogenetic approach to medial habenula function", Proc. SPIE 8586, Optogenetics: Optical Methods for Cellular Control, 85860B (8 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2010309; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2010309

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