Electrophysiological Recordings from Lobula Plate Tangential Cells in Drosophila.
Methods in molecular biology, January 2016
Alex S. Mauss, Alexander Borst
Drosophila has emerged as an important model organism for the study of the neural basis of behavior. Its main asset is the experimental accessibility of identified neurons by genetic manipulation and physiological recordings. Drosophila therefore offers the opportunity to reach an integrative understanding of the development and neural underpinnings of behavior at all processing stages, from sensing to motor control, in a single species. Here, we will provide an account of the procedures involved in recording the electrical potential of individual neurons in the visual system of adult Drosophila using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. To this end, animals are fixed to a holder and mounted below a recording chamber. The head capsule is cut open and the glial sheath covering the brain is ruptured by a combination of shearing and enzymatic digest. Neuronal somata are thus exposed and targeted by low-resistance patch electrodes. After formation of a high resistance seal, electrical access to the cell is gained by small current pulses and suction. Stable recordings of large neurons are feasible for >1 h and can be combined with controlled visual stimulation as well as genetic and pharmacological manipulation of upstream circuit elements to infer circuit function in great detail.
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