Wang, KY (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, State Key Lab Neurosci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Light activation and inactivation of neurons by optogenetic techniques has emerged as an important tool for studying neural circuit function. To achieve a high resolution, new methods are being developed to selectively manipulate the activity of individual neurons. Here, we report that the combination of an acousto-optic device (AOD) and single-photon laser was used to achieve rapid and precise spatiotemporal control of light stimulation at multiple points in a neural circuit with millisecond time resolution. The performance of this system in activating ChIEF expressed on HEK 293 cells as well as cultured neurons was first evaluated, and the laser stimulation patterns were optimized. Next, the spatiotemporally selective manipulation of multiple neurons was achieved in a precise manner. Finally, we demonstrated the versatility of this high-resolution method in dissecting neural circuits both in the mouse cortical slice and the Drosophila brain in vivo. Taken together, our results show that the combination of AOD-assisted laser stimulation and optogenetic tools provides a flexible solution for manipulating neuronal activity at high efficiency and with high temporal precision.