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Neuronal representation of social information in the medial amygdala of awake behaving mice


Li, Ying; Mathis, Alexander; Grewe, Benjamin F; Osterhout, Jessica A; Ahanonu, Biafra; Schnitzer, Mark J; Murthy, Venkatesh N; Dulac, Catherine (2017). Neuronal representation of social information in the medial amygdala of awake behaving mice. Cell, 171(5):1176-1190.

Abstract

The medial amygdala (MeA) plays a critical role in processing species- and sex-specific signals that trigger social and defensive behaviors. However, the principles by which this deep brain structure encodes social information is poorly understood. We used a miniature microscope to image the Ca2+ dynamics of large neural ensembles in awake behaving mice and tracked the responses of MeA neurons over several months. These recordings revealed spatially intermingled subsets of MeA neurons with distinct temporal dynamics. The encoding of social information in the MeA differed between males and females and relied on information from both individual cells and neuronal populations. By performing long-term Ca2+ imaging across different social contexts, we found that sexual experience triggers lasting and sex-specific changes in MeA activity, which, in males, involve signaling by oxytocin. These findings reveal basic principles underlying the brain’s representation of social information and its modulation by intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Abstract

The medial amygdala (MeA) plays a critical role in processing species- and sex-specific signals that trigger social and defensive behaviors. However, the principles by which this deep brain structure encodes social information is poorly understood. We used a miniature microscope to image the Ca2+ dynamics of large neural ensembles in awake behaving mice and tracked the responses of MeA neurons over several months. These recordings revealed spatially intermingled subsets of MeA neurons with distinct temporal dynamics. The encoding of social information in the MeA differed between males and females and relied on information from both individual cells and neuronal populations. By performing long-term Ca2+ imaging across different social contexts, we found that sexual experience triggers lasting and sex-specific changes in MeA activity, which, in males, involve signaling by oxytocin. These findings reveal basic principles underlying the brain’s representation of social information and its modulation by intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:27 Feb 2018 16:25
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 14:48
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
Series Name:Cell
Number of Pages:15
ISSN:0092-8674
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.015
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID622943
  • : Project TitleACTIVE SNIFFING - The Algorithmic and Neuronal Basis of Active Sensing in the Case of Odor-Trail Tracking

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