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© Research
Publication : Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Using affordable LED arrays for photo-stimulation of neurons

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE - 15 Nov 2011

Valley M, Wagner S, Gallarda BW, Lledo PM

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22127025

J Vis Exp 2011;(57)

Standard slice electrophysiology has allowed researchers to probe individual components of neural circuitry by recording electrical responses of single cells in response to electrical or pharmacological manipulations(1,2). With the invention of methods to optically control genetically targeted neurons (optogenetics), researchers now have an unprecedented level of control over specific groups of neurons in the standard slice preparation. In particular, photosensitive channel rhodopsin-2 (ChR2) allows researchers to activate neurons with light(3,4). By combining careful calibration of LED-based photostimulation of ChR2 with standard slice electrophysiology, we are able to probe with greater detail the role of adult-born interneurons in the olfactory bulb, the first central relay of the olfactory system. Using viral expression of ChR2-YFP specifically in adult-born neurons, we can selectively control young adult-born neurons in a milieu of older and mature neurons. Our optical control uses a simple and inexpensive LED system, and we show how this system can be calibrated to understand how much light is needed to evoke spiking activity in single neurons. Hence, brief flashes of blue light can remotely control the firing pattern of ChR2-transduced newborn cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22127025