puc-header

A Specialized Neural Circuit Gates Social Vocalizations in the Mouse

49 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2018 Sneak Peek Status: Published

See all articles by Katherine Tschida

Katherine Tschida

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Valerie Michael

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Jun Takato

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Bao-Xia Han

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Shengli Zhao

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Katsuyasu Sakurai

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Richard Mooney

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

Fan Wang

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

More...

Abstract

Vocalizations are fundamental to mammalian communication, but the underlying neural circuits await detailed characterization. Here we used an intersectional genetic method to label and manipulate neurons in the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) that are transiently active in male mice when they produce ultrasonic courtship vocalizations (USVs). Genetic silencing of PAG-USV neurons rendered males unable to produce USVs and impaired their ability to attract females. Conversely, activating PAG-USV neurons selectively triggered USV production, even in the absence of any female cues. Optogenetic stimulation combined with axonal tracing indicate that PAG-USV neurons gate downstream vocal patterning circuits. Indeed, activating PAG neurons that innervate the nucleus retroambiguus, but not those innervating the parabrachial nucleus, elicited USVs in both male and female mice. These experiments establish that a dedicated population of PAG neurons gives rise to a descending circuit necessary and sufficient for USV production, while also demonstrating the communicative salience of male USVs.

Suggested Citation

Tschida, Katherine and Michael, Valerie and Takato, Jun and Han, Bao-Xia and Zhao, Shengli and Sakurai, Katsuyasu and Mooney, Richard and Wang, Fan, A Specialized Neural Circuit Gates Social Vocalizations in the Mouse (September 14, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3249472
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Katherine Tschida

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Valerie Michael

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Jun Takato

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Bao-Xia Han

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Shengli Zhao

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Katsuyasu Sakurai

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Richard Mooney (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology ( email )

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Fan Wang

Duke University - Department of Neurobiology

311 Research Drive
Box 3209
Durham, NC 27710
United States

Click here to go to Cell.com

Go to Cell.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
314
Downloads
12