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      Optimization of a GCaMP calcium indicator for neural activity imaging.

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          Abstract

          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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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Neurosci
          The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
          Society for Neuroscience
          1529-2401
          0270-6474
          Oct 03 2012
          : 32
          : 40
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia 20147, USA.
          Article
          32/40/13819 HHMIMS412860
          10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2601-12.2012
          3482105
          23035093
          b4c32f73-0b96-47d6-bb33-8af0be1b5cc7

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