A MicroRNA-Based Gene-Targeting Tool for Virally Labeling Interneurons in the Rodent Cortex.

Cell Rep. 2018 Jul 10;24(2):294-303

Authors: Keaveney MK, Tseng HA, Ta TL, Gritton HJ, Man HY, Han X

More specific and broadly applicable viral gene-targeting tools for labeling neuron subtypes are needed to advance neuroscience research, especially in rodent transgenic disease models and genetically intractable species. Here, we develop a viral vector that restricts transgene expression to GABAergic interneurons in the rodent neocortex by exploiting endogenous microRNA regulation. Our interneuron-targeting, microRNA-guided neuron tag, “GABA mAGNET,” achieves >95% interneuron selective labeling in the mouse cortex, including in a murine model of autism and also some preferential labeling of interneurons in the rat brain. We demonstrate an application of our GABA mAGNET by performing simultaneous, in┬ávivo optogenetic control of two distinct neuron subtypes. This interneuron labeling tool highlights the potential of microRNA-based viral gene targeting to specific neuron subtypes.

PMID: 29996091 [PubMed – in process]

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