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Cre-expressing neurons in visual cortex of Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mice are corticothalamic and are depolarized by acetylcholine
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Divison of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Surgery, Orthopedics and Oncology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7952-8120
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Divison of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Divison of Neurobiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7526-923X
2018 (English)In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, ISSN 0021-9967, E-ISSN 1096-9861, Vol. 526, no 1, p. 120-132Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mouse expresses Cre-recombinase in corticothalamic (CT) neurons in neocortical layer 6. It is not known if the other major types of pyramidal neurons in this layer also express this enzyme. By electrophysiological recordings in slices and histological analysis of the uptake of retrogradely transported beads we show that Cre-positive neurons are CT and not corticocortical or corticoclaustral types. Furthermore, we show that Ntsr1-Cre-positive cells are immuno-positive for the nuclear transcription factor Forkhead box protein P2 (FoxP2). We conclude that Cre-expression is limited to a specific type of pyramidal neuron: CT. However, it appears as not all CT neurons are Cre-expressing; there are indications that the penetrance of the gene is about 90%. We demonstrate the utility of assigning a specific identity to individual neurons by determining that the CT neurons are potently modulated by acetylcholine acting on both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. These results corroborate the suggested function of these neurons in regulating the gain of thalamocortical transfer of sensory information depending on attentional demand and state of arousal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2018. Vol. 526, no 1, p. 120-132
Keywords [en]
acetylcholine; corticothalamic; claustrum; FoxP2; Ntsr1; visual cortex; RRID: MMRRC_030648-UCD; RRID: AB_10000240; RRID: AB_2313516; RRID: AB_2107107; RRID: SCR_002074
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-144137DOI: 10.1002/cne.24323ISI: 000418575500008PubMedID: 28884467OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-144137DiVA, id: diva2:1172503
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [3050, 2862]; Linkoping University

Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-10-12
In thesis
1. Neuromodulation, Short-Term and Long-Term Plasticity in Corticothalamic and Hippocampal Neuronal Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neuromodulation, Short-Term and Long-Term Plasticity in Corticothalamic and Hippocampal Neuronal Networks
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research in neuroscience relies to a large extent on the use of genetically modified animals. Extensive validation of new and existing models is a requirement for the acquisition of trustworthy data and to enable generalization to human physiology and disease. This thesis includes, as one part (project I and II), validation of a transgenic mouse model with the expression of the enzyme Cre-recombinase restricted to neurons in a band in the deepest layer of the cerebral cortex. Secondly, in project III we use this mouse model to study the process of short-term plasticity in neuronal cultures. Lastly, we investigate synaptic plasticity by studying the effect that the developmental signaling factor Hedgehog (Hh) has on mature hippocampal cultures (project IV). 

In project I and II, we identified the transgenic mouse Neurotensin receptor 1-Cre GN220 (Ntsr1-Cre) to have Cre expression targeted to the corticothalamic (CT) pyramidal neuron population in neocortical layer 6. Further, we identified a small group of Ntsr1-Cre positive neurons present in the white matter that is distinct from the CT population. We also identified that the transcription factor Forkhead box protein 2 (FoxP2) was specifically expressed by CT neurons in neocortex. In project I, we further explored the sensitivity of CT neurons to cholinergic modulation and found that they are sensitive to even low concentrations of acetylcholine. Both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors depolarize the neurons. Presenting CT neurons as a potential target for cholinergic modulation in wakefulness and arousal. 

In project III we studied Ntsr1-Cre neurons in cortical cultures and found that cultured neurons have similar properties to CT neurons in the intact nervous system. Ntsr1-Cre neurons in culture often formed synapses with itself, i. e. autapses, with short-term synaptic plasticity that was different to ordinary synapses. By expressing the light-controlled ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in Ntsr1-Cre neurons we could compare paired pulse ratios with either electrical or light stimulation. Electrical stimulation typically produced paired-pulse facilitation while light stimulation produced paired pulse depression, presumably due to unphysiological Ca2+ influx in presynaptic terminals. Thus, cultured Ntsr1- Cre neurons can be used to study facilitation, and ChR2 could be used as a practical tool to further study the dependence of Ca2+ for short-term plasticity. 

In project IV we investigated the role of Hedgehog (Hh) for hippocampal neuron plasticity. Non-canonical Hh-signaling negatively regulated NMDA- receptor function through an unknown mechanism resulting in changes in NMDA-receptor mediated currents and subsequent changes in AMPA- receptors in an LTP/LTD manner in mature neurons. Proposing Hh as a slow-acting factor with ability to scale down excitation for instances of excessive activity, e.g. during an epileptic seizure, as a mechanism to make the activity in the neuronal networks stable. 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. p. 103
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1638
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151986 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-151986 (DOI)9789176852279 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-16, Hasselquistsalen, Hus 511, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00
Opponent
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Available from: 2018-10-12 Created: 2018-10-12 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved

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