BiPOLES is an optogenetic tool developed for bidirectional dual-color control of neurons
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A new optogenetic tool that can both silence and activate a defined population of brain cells in the same experiment could open up a new world of precision neuroscience research.
Optogenetics is a powerful tool for determining the functions of brain regions. It uses laser light to either activate or deactivate neurons. Unfortunately, it is sometimes not possible to excite and inhibit the same neurons in one experiment.
Now, scientists at the University of Hamburg and elsewhere have developed a method that employs two light-sensitive proteins — one turns neurons on in response to red light and the other turns them off in response to blue light.
The researchers demonstrated the potential of their method in model organisms. In worms and fly larvae, for example, they manipulated the activity of motor neurons, leading to muscle contraction and relaxation, while in mice and ferrets they modulated neurons in the brain to control functions such as pupil dilation and sensory processing.
- Nature Communications 12, 4527 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24759-5
|University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), UHH, Germany||0.48|
|Vision Institute, France||0.20|
|Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin), Germany||0.15|
|Goethe University Frankfurt (GU), Germany||0.15|
|University of Bonn (Uni Bonn), Germany||0.03|