Must-Read Neural Circuit Papers in October 2018

Calcitonin-gene-related peptide neurons in the parabrachial nucleus

October brought enough neural circuit papers to scare you away from reading them all, so at least peruse our list to see which ones are your must reads.

1. Parabrachial CGRP Neurons Establish and Sustain Aversive Taste Memories by Jane Y. Chen by Carlos A. Campos, Brooke C. Jarvie, Richard D. Palmiter. Neuron.

They reveal a critical role of calcitonin-gene-related peptide neurons in the parabrachial nucleus in both the acquisition and expression of an aversive taste memory. Furthermore, the frequency and duration of CGRPPBN stimulation influences the strength of the conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) acquired. They used Inscopix nVista technology to show that CGRPPBN neurons are active during expression of CTA.

2. Somatostatin Interneurons Facilitate Hippocampal-Prefrontal Synchrony and Prefrontal Spatial Encoding by Atheir I. Abbas, Marina J.M. Sundiang, Britt Henoch, Mitchell P. Morton, Scott S. Bolkan, Alan J. Park, Alexander Z. Harris, Christoph Kellendonk, Joshua A. Gordon. Neuron.

They examine the role of somatostatin and parvalbumin interneurons during spatial working memory. They find that somatostatin, but not parvalbumin, interneurons support working memory performance by facilitating hippocampal-prefrontal interactions and associated spatial encoding.

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3. Lateral inhibition by Martinotti interneurons is facilitated by cholinergic inputs in human and mouse neocortex by Joshua Obermayer, Tim S. Heistek, Amber Kerkhofs, Natalia A. Goriounova, Tim Kroon, Johannes C. Baayen, Sander Idema, Guilherme Testa-Silva, Jonathan J. Couey & Huibert D. Mansvelder. Nature Communications.

Cholinergic inputs augment and speed up lateral inhibition between pyramidal neurons mediated by martinotti cells MCs, but not by basket cells (BCs). Optogenetically activated cholinergic inputs depolarize MCs through activation of ß2 subunit-containing nicotinic AChRs, not muscarinic AChRs, without affecting glutamatergic inputs to MCs. They also show in human neocortex that lateral inhibition is evolutionary conserved and is facilitated by ACh through similar mechanisms.

5. Neonatal Tbr1 Dosage Controls Cortical Layer 6 Connectivity by Siavash Fazel Darbandi, Sarah E. Robinson Schwartz, Qihao Qi, Rinaldo Catta-Preta, Emily Ling-Lin Pai, Jeffrey D. Mandell, Amanda Everitt, Anna Rubin, Rebecca A. Krasnoff, Sol Katzman, David Tastad, Alex S. Nord, A. Jeremy Willsey, Bin Chen, Matthew W. State, Vikaas S. Sohal, John L.R. Rubenstein. Neuron.

Several putative TBR1 targets are autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk genes. Here they integrate TBR1 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data from layer 6 neurons and activity of TBR1-bound candidate enhancers to provide evidence for how TBR1 regulates layer 6 properties. They show TBR1 is in a central position both for ASD risk and for regulating transcriptional circuits that control multiple steps in layer 6 development essential for the assembly of neural circuits.

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10. Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement by Michael N. Economo, Sarada Viswanathan, Bosiljka Tasic, Erhan Bas, Johan Winnubst, Vilas Menon, Lucas T. Graybuck, Thuc Nghi Nguyen, Kimberly A. Smith, Zizhen Yao, Lihua Wang, Charles R. Gerfen, Jayaram Chandrashekar, Hongkui Zeng, Loren L. Looger & Karel Svoboda. Nature.

Transcriptional profiling and axonal reconstructions identify two types of pyramidal tract neuron in the motor cortex: one type projects to thalamic regions and produces early and persistent preparatory activity, and the other type projects to motor centres in the medulla and produces motor commands.

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15. Brs3 neurons in the mouse dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate body temperature, energy expenditure, and heart rate, but not food intake by Ramón A. Piñol, Sebastian H. Zahler, Chia Li, Atreyi Saha, Brandon K. Tan, Vojtěch Škop, Oksana Gavrilova, Cuiying Xiao, Michael J. Krashes & Marc L. Reitman. Nature Neuroscience.

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