Neural circuits

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mutations in the protein LRRK2 have been associated with Parkinson's disease but little is still known about the basic functions of the protein in the brain. Here the authors show that in fruit flies, LRRK2 regulates retrograde homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction.

    • Jay Penney
    • , Kazuya Tsurudome
    •  & A. Pejmun Haghighi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Default mode network (DMN) is strongly modulated by idiosyncratic internal processes, but its involvement in processing external stimuli is unclear. Here, Simony and colleagues use an inter-subject functional correlation approach to extract DMN states that track stimulus features and behaviour.

    • Erez Simony
    • , Christopher J Honey
    •  & Uri Hasson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The piriform cortex projects to multiple brain regions involved in diverse aspects of olfactory behavior but information about the organization of these outputs is lacking. Here the authors show that piriform neurons exhibit layer specific gene expression patterns that also define distinct projection targets.

    • Assunta Diodato
    • , Marion Ruinart de Brimont
    •  & Alexander Fleischmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High-throughput imaging methods for brain-wide connectome mapping with precise location reference have been lacking. Here authors report a method that allows simultaneous acquisition of fluorescently labelled neurons and cytoarchitectural landmarks in the same mouse brain at the single-cell resolution.

    • Hui Gong
    • , Dongli Xu
    •  & Qingming Luo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) are known to receive visceral signals from the gut during feeding. Here, the authors identify two populations of CCK- and DBH-expressing NTS neurons that work to suppress food intake when activated via opto- or chemogenetic stimulation.

    • Carolyn W. Roman
    • , Victor A. Derkach
    •  & Richard D. Palmiter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Flexible fear-related responses may be advantageous in adolescence. Here the authors use microprisms to image prefrontal cortical spine maturation across development and report that plasticity in adolescent fear extinction responses is associated with dynamic reorganization in the amygdalahippocampal-PFC circuit.

    • Siobhan S. Pattwell
    • , Conor Liston
    •  & Francis S. Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    STDP is dependent on the timing of pre- and post-synaptic activity. Here, the authors describe a symmetric STDP induction rule at CA3-CA3 synapses, which induces LTP over a broad range of paring intervals. Modelling suggests that this STDP rule may enhance storage capacity and pattern completion in the CA3 cell network.

    • Rajiv K. Mishra
    • , Sooyun Kim
    •  & Peter Jonas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hypothalamic neurons expressing melanin-concentrating-hormone (MCH) maintain body weight by orchestrating behaviour and metabolism, but little is known about their intrinsic regulation. Here, Gonzalez and colleagues reveal their behaviour-related dynamics during wakefulness, and map their brain-wide neural inputs.

    • J. Antonio González
    • , Panagiota Iordanidou
    •  & Denis Burdakov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    CSF-contacting neurons are known to project to locomotor CPGs although their relevance to active locomotion is unclear. Here, the authors show that these cells constitute a mechanosensory organ relying on PKD2L1 channels to detect spinal cord curvature and modulate locomotor frequency in freely moving animals.

    • Urs Lucas Böhm
    • , Andrew Prendergast
    •  & Claire Wyart
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During colorectal inflammation and cancer, myeloid cells accumulate in the spleen and suppress the host immunity response. In this study, the authors use a mouse model of colitis to demonstrate that upon vagus stimulation splenic memory T cells release TFF2, which suppresses the expansion of myeloid cells and cancer progression.

    • Zina Dubeykovskaya
    • , Yiling Si
    •  & Timothy C. Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    GABAergic interneurons are key components of cortical circuits, yet their early connectivity is unknown. Here the authors show that during early postnatal development,Nkx2-1-derived interneurons engage in layer-specific and dynamic circuits, which are distinct from those in the mature neocortex.

    • Paul G. Anastasiades
    • , Andre Marques-Smith
    •  & Simon J. B. Butt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Inter-areal oscillatory synchronization is constrained by anatomical connections, yet a fundamental principle linking functional and structural connectivity is lacking. Here, Atasoy and colleagues show that harmonic patterns in structural connectome can predict dynamics of resting state networks.

    • Selen Atasoy
    • , Isaac Donnelly
    •  & Joel Pearson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ventral hippocampus connects to the hypothalamus and has been implicated in feeding behaviours. Here, the authors use a combination of optogenetics and DREADD strategies to dissect the underlying circuit, showing that projections from the vHC to the lateral septum work to regulate feeding suppression.

    • Patrick Sweeney
    •  & Yunlei Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neuregulin-1 and DISC1 signalling pathways have both been linked to neurodevelopment and schizophrenia. Here, Seshadri et al. demonstrate that DISC1 negatively regulates NRG1-induced ErbB4 signalling in adult cortical interneurons both in vitro and in vivo, possibly via competitive binding to PSD95.

    • Saurav Seshadri
    • , Travis Faust
    •  & Akira Sawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animal body size is influenced by climate, but the cellular mechanisms regulating this response are unclear. Here, the authors identify a neuronal circuit composed of a group of cold-sensing neurons and insulin-producing cells that mediates the effects of temperature onDrosophilagrowth.

    • Qiaoran Li
    •  & Zhefeng Gong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A key pathological alteration after brain and spinal cord injury is the disruption of the corticospinal tract (CST) axons that control the voluntary movements. Here the authors show that activating the intrinsic regenerative ability by inhibiting PTEN and SOCS3 expression promotes robust sprouting growth and recovery of skilled locomotion after injury.

    • Duo Jin
    • , Yuanyuan Liu
    •  & Zhigang He
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animals tracking objects can adapt their movements to optimise sensory coding. Using fish that sense objects as perturbations to an electric field, Clarke et al. reveal that the optimal object distance maintained by the fish is encoded within the firing properties of electrosensory neurons.

    • Stephen E. Clarke
    • , André Longtin
    •  & Leonard Maler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cognitive control is fundamental to human intelligence, yet the principles constraining the neural dynamics of cognitive control remain elusive. Here, the authors use network control theory to demonstrate that the structure of brain networks dictates their functional role in controlling dynamics.

    • Shi Gu
    • , Fabio Pasqualetti
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ability to continually adjust behavioural strategies is a hallmark of human cognition, yet the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here the authors show that an insula-frontostriatal network mediates such flexible cognitive control by adaptively predicting changing control demands.

    • Jiefeng Jiang
    • , Jeffrey Beck
    •  & Tobias Egner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Common optogenetic approaches require surgical procedures to deliver light of specific wavelengths to the target cells. Here the authors demonstrate the use of low-pressure ultrasound as a non-invasive trigger to activate specific neurons in Caenorhabditis elegansand find that the mechanotransduction channel TRP-4 sensitizes cells to the ultrasound stimulus.

    • Stuart Ibsen
    • , Ada Tong
    •  & Sreekanth H. Chalasani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Large-scale dense reconstruction of neuronal circuits (or connectomics) requires methods for large-volume dense en-blocelectron microscopy (EM) staining. Here the authors develop a protocol for staining tissue blocks from mouse neocortex sized at least 1 mm in diameter, enabling correlated functional and structural circuit analyses.

    • Yunfeng Hua
    • , Philip Laserstein
    •  & Moritz Helmstaedter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Growing evidence from neuroimaging studies suggests that the brain is dynamically organized into functionally connected networks. Here, the authors develop a new technique for decomposing spontaneous activity into temporally overlapping building blocks that assemble standard functional networks.

    • Fikret Işik Karahanoğlu
    •  & Dimitri Van De Ville
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The capacity for thermoregulation deteriorates with age, particularly in cold environments. Here the authors demonstrate inDrosophilathat age-related changes in cold avoidance result from a shift in the relative contribution of two parallel mushroom body circuits that are modulated by dopamine.

    • Hsiang-Wen Shih
    • , Chia-Lin Wu
    •  & Ann-Shyn Chiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Defense against environmental threats is essential for survival, yet the neural circuits mediating innate defensive behaviours are not completely understood. Here the authors demonstrate that descending projections from the auditory cortex to the midbrain mediate innate, sound-evoked flight behaviour.

    • Xiaorui R. Xiong
    • , Feixue Liang
    •  & Li I. Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The neuregulin receptor ErbB4 is an important modulator of GABAergic interneurons and neural network synchronization but little is known about the endogenous ligands that engage ErbB4 and the downstream targets. Here the authors describe the existence of a cell-autonomous bidirectional pathway that links NMDA receptor activity with NRG signalling in GABAergic interneurons.

    • Detlef Vullhorst
    • , Robert M. Mitchell
    •  & Andres Buonanno
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain exhibits a diversity of plasticity mechanisms across different timecales that constitute the putative basis for learning and memory. Here, the authors demonstrate how these different plasticity mechanisms are orchestrated to support the formation of robust and stable neural cell assemblies.

    • Friedemann Zenke
    • , Everton J. Agnes
    •  & Wulfram Gerstner
  • Article |

    In response to spinal cord injuries, limited functional recovery can be achieved but the new circuits that arise have not been characterized in detail. Here the authors show that synaptic connections between the ascending proprioceptive neurons and a small number of spared dorsal column neurons, can be remodeled after a cervical lesion to support functional recovery.

    • Edmund R. Hollis II
    • , Nao Ishiko
    •  & Yimin Zou
  • Article |

    The brain has a central role in the regulation of organismal energy homeostasis. Here the authors show that neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus respond to fatty acids by generating neuronal signals, relayed to the liver viavagal nerves that mediate secretion of very-low-density lipoproteins.

    • Jessica T. Y. Yue
    • , Mona A. Abraham
    •  & Tony K. T. Lam
  • Article |

    In silkmoths, pheromones are used to find food, to evade predators and to locate mating partners. In this study, Namiki et al.use anatomical and electrophysiological approaches to identify four neural circuits that contribute to a neural pathway for pheromone processing in the protocerebrum of silkmoths.

    • Shigehiro Namiki
    • , Satoshi Iwabuchi
    •  & Ryohei Kanzaki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neural circuits are functional ensembles of neurons that are selectively interconnected by chemical or electrical synapses. Here the authors describe an approach to the study of neural circuits in C. eleganswhereby electrical synapses are introduced between previously unconnected neurons to reprogram behaviour.

    • Ithai Rabinowitch
    • , Marios Chatzigeorgiou
    •  & William R. Schafer