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  A Convergent and Essential Interneuron Pathway for Mauthner-Cell-Mediated Escapes

Lacoste, A., Schoppik, D., Robson, D., Haesemeyer, M., Portugues, R., Li, J., et al. (2015). A Convergent and Essential Interneuron Pathway for Mauthner-Cell-Mediated Escapes. Current Biology, 25(11), 1526-1534. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.025.

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Lacoste, AMB, Author
Schoppik, D, Author
Robson, DN1, Author              
Haesemeyer, M, Author
Portugues, R, Author
Li, JM1, Author              
Randlett, O, Author
Wee, CL, Author
Engert, F, Author
Schier, AF, Author
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1external, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The Mauthner cell (M-cell) is a command-like neuron in teleost fish whose firing in response to aversive stimuli is correlated with short-latency escapes [1-3]. M-cells have been proposed as evolutionary ancestors of startle response neurons of the mammalian reticular formation [4], and studies of this circuit have uncovered important principles in neurobiology that generalize to more complex vertebrate models [3]. The main excitatory input was thought to originate from multisensory afferents synapsing directly onto the M-cell dendrites [3]. Here, we describe an additional, convergent pathway that is essential for the M-cell-mediated startle behavior in larval zebrafish. It is composed of excitatory interneurons called spiral fiber neurons, which project to the M-cell axon hillock. By in vivo calcium imaging, we found that spiral fiber neurons are active in response to aversive stimuli capable of eliciting escapes. Like M-cell ablations, bilateral ablations of spiral fiber neurons largely eliminate short-latency escapes. Unilateral spiral fiber neuron ablations shift the directionality of escapes and indicate that spiral fiber neurons excite the M-cell in a lateralized manner. Their optogenetic activation increases the probability of short-latency escapes, supporting the notion that spiral fiber neurons help activate M-cell-mediated startle behavior. These results reveal that spiral fiber neurons are essential for the function of the M-cell in response to sensory cues and suggest that convergent excitatory inputs that differ in their input location and timing ensure reliable activation of the M-cell, a feedforward excitatory motif that may extend to other neural circuits.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-06
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.025
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Title: Current Biology
  Other : Curr. Biol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Cell Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 25 (11) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1526 - 1534 Identifier: ISSN: 0960-9822
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925579107