Functional labeling of neurons and their projections using the synthetic activity-dependent promoter E-SARE

Takashi Kawashima, Kazuo Kitamura, Kanzo Suzuki, Mio Nonaka, Satoshi Kamijo, Sayaka Takemoto-Kimura, Masanobu Kano, Hiroyuki Okuno, Kenichi Ohki, Haruhiko Bito

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Abstract

Identifying the neuronal ensembles that respond to specific stimuli and mapping their projection patterns in living animals are fundamental challenges in neuroscience. To this end, we engineered a synthetic promoter, the enhanced synaptic activity-responsive element (E-SARE), that drives neuronal activity-dependent gene expression more potently than other existing immediate-early gene promoters. Expression of a drug-inducible Cre recombinase downstream of E-SARE enabled imaging of neuronal populations that respond to monocular visual stimulation and tracking of their long-distance thalamocortical projections in living mice. Targeted cell-attached recordings and calcium imaging of neurons in sensory cortices revealed that E-SARE reporter expression correlates with sensory-evoked neuronal activity at the single-cell level and is highly specific to the type of stimuli presented to the animals. This activity-dependent promoter can expand the repertoire of genetic approaches for high-resolution anatomical and functional analysis of neural circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalNature Methods
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2013

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Kawashima, T., Kitamura, K., Suzuki, K., Nonaka, M., Kamijo, S., Takemoto-Kimura, S., ... Bito, H. (2013). Functional labeling of neurons and their projections using the synthetic activity-dependent promoter E-SARE. Nature Methods, 10(9), 889-895. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2559