Journal Article

A ‘tool box’ for deciphering neuronal circuits in the developing chick spinal cord

Yoav Hadas, Alex Etlin, Haya Falk, Oshri Avraham, Oren Kobiler, Amos Panet, Aharon Lev-Tov and Avihu Klar

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 42, issue 19, pages e148-e148
Published in print October 2014 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online August 2014 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gku750

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The genetic dissection of spinal circuits is an essential new means for understanding the neural basis of mammalian behavior. Molecular targeting of specific neuronal populations, a key instrument in the genetic dissection of neuronal circuits in the mouse model, is a complex and time-demanding process. Here we present a circuit-deciphering ‘tool box’ for fast, reliable and cheap genetic targeting of neuronal circuits in the developing spinal cord of the chick. We demonstrate targeting of motoneurons and spinal interneurons, mapping of axonal trajectories and synaptic targeting in both single and populations of spinal interneurons, and viral vector-mediated labeling of pre-motoneurons. We also demonstrate fluorescent imaging of the activity pattern of defined spinal neurons during rhythmic motor behavior, and assess the role of channel rhodopsin-targeted population of interneurons in rhythmic behavior using specific photoactivation.

Journal Article.  7453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology ; Research Methods in Life Sciences

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