INSTITUTO DE QUIMICA, FISICA DE LOS MATERIALES, MEDIOAMBIENTE Y ENERGIA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
In vivo photorelease of GABA in the mouse cortex
V. LOPES-DOS-SANTOS; J. CAMPI; O. FILEVICH; S. RIBEIRO; R. ETCHENIQUE
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Año: 2011 vol. 44 p. 688 - 688
Electrical stimulation has been used for more than 100 years in neuroscientific and biomedical research as a powerful tool for controlled perturbations of neural activity. Despite quickly driving neuronal activity, this technique presents some important limitations, such as the impossibility to activate or deactivate specific neuronal populations within a single stimulation site. This problem can be avoided by pharmacological methods based on the administration of receptor ligands able to cause specific changes in neuronal activity. However, intracerebral injections of neuroactive molecules inherently confound the dynamics of drug diffusion with receptor activation. Caged compounds have been proposed to circumvent this problem, for spatially and temporally controlled release of molecules. Caged compounds consist of a protecting group and a ligand made inactive by the bond between the two parts. By breaking this bond with light of an appropriate wavelength, the ligand recovers its activity within milliseconds. To test these compounds in vivo, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from the cerebral cortex of anesthetized female mice (CF1, 60-70 days, 20-30 g) before and after infusion with caged γ-amino-butyric-acid (GABA). After 30 min, we irradiated the cortical surface with pulses of blue light in order to photorelease the caged GABA and measure its effect on global brain activity. Laser pulses significantly and consistently decreased LFP power in four different frequency bands with a precision of few milliseconds (P < 0.000001); however, the inhibitory effects lasted several minutes (P < 0.0043). The technical difficulties and limitations of neurotransmitter photorelease are presented, and perspectives for future in vivo applications of the method are discussed.