Neuronal gain modulability is determined by dendritic morphology: a computational optogenetic study

Jarvis, Sarah, Nikolic, Konstantin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6551-2977 and Schultz, Simon (2018) Neuronal gain modulability is determined by dendritic morphology: a computational optogenetic study. PLoS Computational Biology, 14 (3). e1006027. ISSN 1553-734X

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Abstract

The mechanisms by which the gain of the neuronal input-output function may be modulated have been the subject of much investigation. However, little is known of the role of dendrites in neuronal gain control. New optogenetic experimental paradigms based on spatial profiles or patterns of light stimulation offer the prospect of elucidating many aspects of single cell function, including the role of dendrites in gain control. We thus developed a model to investigate how competing excitatory and inhibitory input within the dendritic arbor alters neuronal gain, incorporating kinetic models of opsins into our modeling to ensure it is experimentally testable. To investigate how different topologies of the neuronal dendritic tree affect the neuron’s input-output characteristics we generate branching geometries which replicate morphological features of most common neurons, but keep the number of branches and overall area of dendrites approximately constant. We found a relationship between a neuron’s gain modulability and its dendritic morphology, with neurons with bipolar dendrites with a moderate degree of branching being most receptive to control of the gain of their input-output relationship. The theory was then tested and confirmed on two examples of realistic neurons: 1) layer V pyramidal cells—confirming their role in neural circuits as a regulator of the gain in the circuit in addition to acting as the primary excitatory neurons, and 2) stellate cells. In addition to providing testable predictions and a novel application of dual-opsins, our model suggests that innervation of all dendritic subdomains is required for full gain modulation, revealing the importance of dendritic targeting in the generation of neuronal gain control and the functions that it subserves. Finally, our study also demonstrates that neurophysiological investigations which use direct current injection into the soma and bypass the dendrites may miss some important neuronal functions, such as gain modulation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Biomedical engineering
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Konstantin Nikolic
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 13:10
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:15
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7969

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