Capturing and Manipulating Activated Neuronal Ensembles with CANE Delineates a Hypothalamic Social-Fear Circuit.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We developed a technology (capturing activated neuronal ensembles [CANE]) to label, manipulate, and transsynaptically trace neural circuits that are transiently activated in behavioral contexts with high efficiency and temporal precision. CANE consists of a knockin mouse and engineered viruses designed to specifically infect activated neurons. Using CANE, we selectively labeled neurons that were activated by either fearful or aggressive social encounters in a hypothalamic subnucleus previously known as a locus for aggression, and discovered that social-fear and aggression neurons are intermixed but largely distinct. Optogenetic stimulation of CANE-captured social-fear neurons (SFNs) is sufficient to evoke fear-like behaviors in normal social contexts, whereas silencing SFNs resulted in reduced social avoidance. CANE-based mapping of axonal projections and presynaptic inputs to SFNs further revealed a highly distributed and recurrent neural network. CANE is a broadly applicable technology for dissecting causality and connectivity of spatially intermingled but functionally distinct ensembles.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sakurai, K; Zhao, S; Takatoh, J; Rodriguez, E; Lu, J; Leavitt, AD; Fu, M; Han, B-X; Wang, F

Published Date

  • November 23, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 92 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 739 - 753

PubMed ID

  • 27974160

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5172402

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4199

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.10.015


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States