How genetically engineered systems are helping to define, and in some cases redefine, the neurobiological basis of sleep and wake
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CitationFuller, Patrick M, Akihiro Yamanaka, and Michael Lazarus. 2015. “How genetically engineered systems are helping to define, and in some cases redefine, the neurobiological basis of sleep and wake.” Temperature: Multidisciplinary Biomedical Journal 2 (3): 406-417. doi:10.1080/23328940.2015.1075095. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2015.1075095.
AbstractThe advent of genetically engineered systems, including transgenic animals and recombinant viral vectors, has facilitated a more detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular substrates regulating brain function. In this review we highlight some of the most recent molecular biology and genetic technologies in the experimental “systems neurosciences,” many of which are rapidly becoming a methodological standard, and focus in particular on those tools and techniques that permit the reversible and cell-type specific manipulation of neurons in behaving animals. These newer techniques encompass a wide range of approaches including conditional deletion of genes based on Cre/loxP technology, gene silencing using RNA interference, cell-type specific mapping or ablation and reversible manipulation (silencing and activation) of neurons in vivo. Combining these approaches with viral vector delivery systems, in particular adeno-associated viruses (AAV), has extended, in some instances greatly, the utility of these tools. For example, the spatially- and/or temporally-restricted transduction of specific neuronal cell populations is now routinely achieved using the combination of Cre-driver mice and stereotaxic-based delivery of AAV expressing Cre-dependent cassettes. We predict that the experimental application of these tools, including creative combinatorial approaches and the development of even newer reagents, will prove necessary for a complete understanding of the neuronal circuits subserving most neurobiological functions, including the regulation of sleep and wake.
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