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Optogenetic manipulation of olfactory circuits

Grant number: 14/25594-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): February 16, 2015
Effective date (End): August 15, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal researcher:Fabio Papes
Grantee:Vinicius Miessler de Andrade Carvalho
Supervisor abroad: Lisa Stowers
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/21786-0 - Ascertainment and analysis of olfactory maps in the brain, BP.DD


One of the most remarkable adaptations of animals is the ability to perceive and adequately respond to sensory stimuli in their environment. An important type of sensory cue are odors, which are detected by the olfactory system, and can convey a wide variety of information such as food presence and quality, potential mates and predators. It has been shown that different odors may also modulate a wide variety of behaviors through different olfactory subsystems. The vomeronasal organ (VNO) comprises the sensory interface of the accessory olfactory system, responsible for the modulation of instinctive behaviors. Despite their paramount role in behavioral control, very little is known about how stimuli detected by the VNO are represented in the brain. In the main project related to this BEPE proposal we began to investigate how a wide variety of behavior inducing odors are represented in the brain. We found that predator odors produce strong activation of VNO neurons and of the subsequent neural pathway. We also showed that the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) harbors a neural map. This map is in sharp contrast to previous descriptions of this nucleus´ organization, and it does not reflect behavioral output as previously thought. In fact, we found a population of neurons activated by defensive stimuli inside what was known as the 'social' zone. To further the knowledge on the organization of this map, we intend to perform functional manipulations of different cell populations in the VMHvl through the use of optogenetics, as described in this proposal. These experiments will be important for the submission of a revised manuscript to the journal Cell. The results will also provide invaluable information in understanding how behavior modulating odors are represented in the brain. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE ANDRADE CARVALHO, VINICIUS MIESSLER; NAKAHARA, THIAGO SEIKE; PAPES, FABIO. Investigation of Activated Mouse Olfactory Sensory Neurons via Combined Immunostaining and in situ Hybridization. JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, n. 170, . (12/04026-1, 12/21786-0, 12/01689-0, 14/25594-3, 09/00473-0, 15/50371-0)
DE ANDRADE CARVALHO, VINICIUS MIESSLER; NAKAHARA, THIAGO SEIKE; DE ANDRADE SOUZA, MATEUS AUGUSTO; CARDOZO, LEONARDO MINETE; TRINTINALIA, GUILHERME ZIEGLER; PISSINATO, LEONARDO GRANATO; VENANCIO, JOSE OTAVIO; STOWERS, LISA; PAPES, FABIO. Representation of Olfactory Information in Organized Active Neural Ensembles in the Hypothalamus. CELL REPORTS, v. 32, n. 8, . (10/01211-7, 12/04026-1, 13/03372-6, 15/50371-0, 12/01689-0, 14/25594-3, 09/00473-0)

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