Volume 22

  • No. 12 December 2019

    Trace cells in human entorhinal cortex

    Episodic memory requires binding of memory content with the context in which the memory was experienced. In this issue, Qasim et al. report on how this process might be supported by specific cells in the human medial temporal lobe. In particular, they find memory-trace cells in the entorhinal cortex that, in a spatial memory task, encode the location that subjects associate with the specific memory they are required to retrieve. The cover art depicts a pool of water representing all of a person’s memories. That person is seen reaching towards a particular memory that is bound to its spatial context, characterized here by buildings, objects and landmarks arranged in space.

    See Qasim et al.

  • No. 11 November 2019

    The thalamus is a major hub of projections reaching the cerebral cortex, but until recently its neuronal cell type composition has remained elusive. In this issue, Phillips, Schulmann and colleagues comprehensively profile gene expression across almost all thalamic nuclei in the mouse. The watercolor painting represents the diverse spectrum of neuronal cell types revealed in the thalamus, which is repeated across all major thalamocortical projection systems and maps onto functional and anatomical properties.

    See Phillips et al.

  • No. 10 October 2019

    Learning new information and skills, storing memories of this knowledge, and retrieving, modifying, or forgetting these memories over time are critical for flexibly responding to a changing environment. In this issue, we present a collection of reviews and perspectives that reflects the breadth and vibrancy of this field.

    See: www.nature.com/collections/learningandmemory

  • No. 9 September 2019

    The cover depicts a sad, anxious or sick mouse sitting on a small island surrounded by an ocean of neurons, unable to socially interact, explore or feed. This is a metaphor for the function of the insular cortex, also called the ‘island of the brain’ (‘insula’ is the Latin word for ‘island’). In this study, Gehrlach et al. reveal how the posterior part of the insula processes and regulates aversive emotional and bodily internal states and mediates inhibition of ongoing rewarding and exploratory behaviors.

    See Gehrlach et al

  • No. 8 August 2019

    The image symbolizes how functional activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) ‘rescues’ a Shank3-mutant mouse from social impairment. The celestial setting reflects the phrase ‘children of the stars’, which in some cultures is used to describe children with autism.

  • No. 7 July 2019

    Microglia rebirth drives CNS remyelination

    The regeneration of myelin following damage in various neurodegenerative disorders contributes to restoration of axonal health and function. Lloyd and colleagues reveal that remyelination requires the death of pro-inflammatory microglia by necroptosis, followed by repopulation by pro-regenerative microglia. The cover art image depicts a phoenix, a long-lived bird from Greek mythology that rises from the ashes following death to regenerate.

    See Miron et al.

  • No. 6 June 2019

    Brain macrophage diversity

    Even a century after their discovery, brain macrophages continue to spark fascination. Van Hove et al. combined single-cell transcriptomics with fate mapping to reveal the diversity of brain macrophages. A remarkable finding was the identification of a rare microglial subset in the choroid plexus, suggesting that bona fide microglia are not restricted to the brain parenchyma. The colorful bunch in the cover image depicts an artist's impression of the brain’s macrophage populations going about their daily business.

    See Van Hove et al. and News & Views by Utz and Greter

  • No. 5 May 2019

    Multiplexed EM labeling

    Characterizing synaptic connectivity between neurons using electron microscopy is important in drawing the ‘wiring diagram’ of the nervous system. Zhang and colleagues developed a peroxidase-based multiplexed electron microscopy labeling technique that enables simultaneous visualization of multiple cell types without the need for spectral separation, facilitating the investigation of synaptic connectivity between genetically defined neuronal populations. The cover image shows an ultrathin section from the spinal cord dorsal horn with three neuronal populations simultaneously labeled: local inhibitory interneurons (red, endoplasmic reticulum labeled), corticospinal inputs (green, cytoplasm labeled) and somatosensory primary afferents (blue, mitochondrial matrix labeled).

    See Zhang et al.

  • No. 4 April 2019

    A map of mPFC inputs

    No neuron is an island entire of itself; every neuron is a piece of the circuit, a part of the brain. (Adapted from Meditation XVII by John Donne) Ährlund-Richter et al. describe the connectivity of the four main cell types in the medial prefrontal cortex of the mouse to uncover the circuit architecture that supports the functions of this brain region. The cover depicts a lone neuron-like shape formed by cracks in the ice on the lake in Källtorpssjön, Stockholm, Sweden.

    See Ährlund-Richter et al.

  • No. 3 March 2019

    Driving CA1

    Hippocampal circuitry enables the emergence of activity patterns that are crucial for spatial learning and memory. Davoudi and Foster used acute optogenetic silencing to reveal the dominant role of hippocampal area CA3 in driving place cell activity in hippocampal area CA1 at the single-cell and neural population levels. The cover image represents CA3 neurons activating CA1 place cells through their axons, the Schaffer collaterals.

    See Davoudi and Foster

  • No. 2 February 2019

    Whole-body imaging of neuronal projections

    Cai, Pan et al. developed vDISCO technology to image cellular details in intact transparent mice through bones and skin. It enabled detection of widespread CNS trauma effects and revealed short vascular connections between the skull marrow and brain meninges. The cover image shows a view of neuronal projections in the upper torso of an intact adult mouse.

    See Cai et al.

  • No. 1 January 2019

    Glioma cell–white matter invasion

    Glioma cell invasion and migration along white matter tracts is thought to be one of the main causes of poor therapeutic outcome in malignant glioma. Yu and colleagues investigate the underlying signaling pathways, finding CD133+Notch1+ glioma stem cells (pink cells) are recruited to Jagged1+ white matter tracts (green) via a NOTCH1–SOX2 positive-feedback loop.

    See Wang et al.