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      Calcium Signal Profiles in Vascular Endothelium from Cdh5-GCaMP8 and Cx40-GCaMP2 Mice


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          Introduction: Studies in Cx40-GCaMP2 mice, which express calcium biosensor GCaMP2 in the endothelium under connexin 40 promoter, have identified the unique properties of endothelial calcium signals. However, Cx40-GCaMP2 mouse is associated with a narrow dynamic range and lack of signal in the venous endothelium. Recent studies have proposed many GCaMPs (GCaMP5/6/7/8) with improved properties although their performance in endothelium-specific calcium studies is not known. Methods: We characterized a newly developed mouse line that constitutively expresses GCaMP8 in the endothelium under the VE-cadherin (Cdh5-GCaMP8) promoter. Calcium signals through endothelial IP3 receptors and TRP vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channels were recorded in mesenteric arteries (MAs) and veins from Cdh5-GCaMP8 and Cx40-GCaMP2 mice. Results: Cdh5-GCaMP8 mice showed lower baseline fluorescence intensity, higher dynamic range, and higher amplitudes of individual calcium signals than Cx40-GCaMP2 mice. Importantly, Cdh5-GCaMP8 mice enabled the first recordings of discrete calcium signals in the intact venous endothelium and revealed striking differences in IP3 receptor and TRPV4 channel calcium signals between MAs and mesenteric veins. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that Cdh5-GCaMP8 mice represent significant improvements in dynamic range, sensitivity for low-intensity signals, and the ability to record calcium signals in venous endothelium.

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          Ultra-sensitive fluorescent proteins for imaging neuronal activity

          Summary Fluorescent calcium sensors are widely used to image neural activity. Using structure-based mutagenesis and neuron-based screening, we developed a family of ultra-sensitive protein calcium sensors (GCaMP6) that outperformed other sensors in cultured neurons and in zebrafish, flies, and mice in vivo. In layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the mouse visual cortex, GCaMP6 reliably detected single action potentials in neuronal somata and orientation-tuned synaptic calcium transients in individual dendritic spines. The orientation tuning of structurally persistent spines was largely stable over timescales of weeks. Orientation tuning averaged across spine populations predicted the tuning of their parent cell. Although the somata of GABAergic neurons showed little orientation tuning, their dendrites included highly tuned dendritic segments (5 - 40 micrometers long). GCaMP6 sensors thus provide new windows into the organization and dynamics of neural circuits over multiple spatial and temporal scales.
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            Optimization of a GCaMP calcium indicator for neural activity imaging.

            Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) are powerful tools for systems neuroscience. Recent efforts in protein engineering have significantly increased the performance of GECIs. The state-of-the art single-wavelength GECI, GCaMP3, has been deployed in a number of model organisms and can reliably detect three or more action potentials in short bursts in several systems in vivo. Through protein structure determination, targeted mutagenesis, high-throughput screening, and a battery of in vitro assays, we have increased the dynamic range of GCaMP3 by severalfold, creating a family of "GCaMP5" sensors. We tested GCaMP5s in several systems: cultured neurons and astrocytes, mouse retina, and in vivo in Caenorhabditis chemosensory neurons, Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction and adult antennal lobe, zebrafish retina and tectum, and mouse visual cortex. Signal-to-noise ratio was improved by at least 2- to 3-fold. In the visual cortex, two GCaMP5 variants detected twice as many visual stimulus-responsive cells as GCaMP3. By combining in vivo imaging with electrophysiology we show that GCaMP5 fluorescence provides a more reliable measure of neuronal activity than its predecessor GCaMP3. GCaMP5 allows more sensitive detection of neural activity in vivo and may find widespread applications for cellular imaging in general.
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              High-performance calcium sensors for imaging activity in neuronal populations and microcompartments

              Calcium imaging with genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) is routinely used to measure neural activity in intact nervous systems. GECIs are frequently used in one of two different modes: to track activity in large populations of neuronal cell bodies, or to follow dynamics in subcellular compartments such as axons, dendrites and individual synaptic compartments. Despite major advances, calcium imaging is still limited by the biophysical properties of existing GECIs, including affinity, signal-to-noise ratio, rise and decay kinetics and dynamic range. Using structure-guided mutagenesis and neuron-based screening, we optimized the green fluorescent protein-based GECI GCaMP6 for different modes of in vivo imaging. The resulting jGCaMP7 sensors provide improved detection of individual spikes (jGCaMP7s,f), imaging in neurites and neuropil (jGCaMP7b), and may allow tracking larger populations of neurons using two-photon (jGCaMP7s,f) or wide-field (jGCaMP7c) imaging.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                May 2021
                11 March 2021
                : 58
                : 3
                : 159-171
                [_a] aRobert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
                [_b] bDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
                [_c] cDepartments of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience and Bioengineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
                [_d] dDepartment of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
                Author notes
                *Swapnil K. Sonkusare, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, 409 Lane Road, PO Box 801394, Charlottesville, VA 22908 (USA), sks2n@virginia.edu
                Author information
                514210 J Vasc Res 2021;58:159–171
                © 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 12 October 2020
                : 23 December 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 3, Pages: 13
                Methods in Vascular Biology

                General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology


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