Image_4_Multiplex Neural Circuit Tracing With G-Deleted Rabies Viral Vectors.TIF

Neural circuits interconnect to organize large-scale networks that generate perception, cognition, memory, and behavior. Information in the nervous system is processed both through parallel, independent circuits and through intermixing circuits. Analyzing the interaction between circuits is particularly indispensable for elucidating how the brain functions. Monosynaptic circuit tracing with glycoprotein (G) gene-deleted rabies viral vectors (RVΔG) comprises a powerful approach for studying the structure and function of neural circuits. Pseudotyping of RVΔG with the foreign envelope EnvA permits expression of transgenes such as fluorescent proteins, genetically-encoded sensors, or optogenetic tools in cells expressing TVA, a cognate receptor for EnvA. Trans-complementation with rabies virus glycoproteins (RV-G) enables trans-synaptic labeling of input neurons directly connected to the starter neurons expressing both TVA and RV-G. However, it remains challenging to simultaneously map neuronal connections from multiple cell populations and their interactions between intermixing circuits solely with the EnvA/TVA-mediated RV tracing system in a single animal. To overcome this limitation, here, we multiplexed RVΔG circuit tracing by optimizing distinct viral envelopes (oEnvX) and their corresponding receptors (oTVX). Based on the EnvB/TVB and EnvE/DR46-TVB systems derived from the avian sarcoma leukosis virus (ASLV), we developed optimized TVB receptors with lower or higher affinity (oTVB-L or oTVB-H) and the chimeric envelope oEnvB, as well as an optimized TVE receptor with higher affinity (oTVE-H) and its chimeric envelope oEnvE. We demonstrated independence of RVΔG infection between the oEnvA/oTVA, oEnvB/oTVB, and oEnvE/oTVE systems and in vivo proof-of-concept for multiplex circuit tracing from two distinct classes of layer 5 neurons targeting either other cortical or subcortical areas. We also successfully labeled common input of the lateral geniculate nucleus to both cortico-cortical layer 5 neurons and inhibitory neurons of the mouse V1 with multiplex RVΔG tracing. These oEnvA/oTVA, oEnvB/oTVB, and oEnvE/oTVE systems allow for differential labeling of distinct circuits to uncover the mechanisms underlying parallel processing through independent circuits and integrated processing through interaction between circuits in the brain.