IN VIVO CALCIUM IMAGING OF SOMATOSTATIN-EXPRESSING CELL ACTIVITY IN THE CINGULATE CORTEX DURING
SOCIAL INTERACTION IN FREELY MOVING MICE USING MIGHTEX’S OASIS IMPLANT
The cingulate cortex (CC) is a key brain region in the limbic system that coordinates actions and motivational behaviors. Somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons in the cingulate cortex (CCSST) can provide powerful inhibition to the CC circuitry through high basal firing activity and synchronized firing . An open question is how CCSST cells contribute to motivational behaviors such as sociality.
Our lab is particularly interested in understanding the dynamic changes of inhibitory neurons in response to reward as well as stress. We found that a subset of CCSST cells was recruited upon social stimuli in the three-chambered social interaction test (Figure 1A, B).
Figure 1. Experimental Overview
To visualize CCSST neuronal activation in the spatio-temporal and cellular resolutions, we measured the Ca2+ activity of CCSST cells by incorporating the Mightex OASIS implant system into our behavioral setup (Figure 1C). To examine the relationship between social interaction and CC neural activity, we placed two male mice in an open field. We measured the time spent by the mice interacting with each other as well as the distance between them, while recording the response simultaneously (Video 1). In the reciprocal social interaction test, CCSST neuronal activity was persistently elevated during both passive and active social interactions — CCSST neurons were activated when the intruder and resident mice were in close distance (Figure 1D).
Video 1. Calcium imaging data of CCSST neurons and corresponding social interaction behaviour
We will further characterize the role of CCSST cells in these behaviors by combining the Mightex OASIS implant system and cell-type-specific manipulation tools. In sum, the Mightex OASIS system provides a powerful tool for investigating the relationship between neural population activity and social behavior in real-time.
 Urban-Ciecko J, Barth AL. Somatostatin-expressing neurons in cortical networks. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Jul;17(7):401-9.
Author: Huanhuan Li
Bio: Huanhuan is a final year PhD student in the Department of Neuroscience at the City University of Hong Kong. He is supervised by Dr. Geoffrey Lau.