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Specific Hypothalamic Neurons Required for Sensing Conspecifi
RV virus (From BrainVTA) was used for rabies tracing experiment to investigate the neural circuit mechanism. AAV virus expressing GCaMP6s (From BrainVTA) was used to monitor urine evoked activities.
The viruses used in this article from BrainVTA are in the table below
RV  R01002 RV-ENVA-ΔG-DsRed
 R01003 RV-EnVA-DG-GCaMP6s-DsRed
Tracing Helper  PT-0021 AAV2/9-EF1a-DIO-His-EGFP-2A-TVA
 PT-0023 AAV2/9-Ef1α-DIO-RVG
Pub Date: 2019-09-21, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.08.025  Email:
Ai-Xiao Chen, Jing-Jing Yan, Wen Zhang, Lei Wang, Zi-Xian Yu, Xiao-Jing Ding, Dan-Yang Wang, Min Zhang, Yan-Li Zhang, Nan Song, Zhuo-Lei Jiao, Chun Xu, Shu-Jia Zhu, Xiao-Hong Xu 
The hypothalamus regulates innate social interactions, but how hypothalamic neurons transduce sex-related sensory signals emitted by conspecifics to trigger appropriate behaviors remains unclear. Here, we addressed this issue by identifying specific hypothalamic neurons required for sensing conspecific male cues relevant to inter-male aggression. By in vivo recording of neuronal activities in behaving mice, we showed that neurons expressing dopamine transporter (DAT+) in the ventral premammillary nucleus (PMv) of the hypothalamus responded to male urine cues in a vomeronasal organ (VNO)-dependent manner in naive males. Retrograde trans-synaptic tracing further revealed a specific group of neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) that convey male-relevant signals from VNO to PMv. Inhibition of PMvDAT+ neurons abolished the preference for male urine cues and reduced inter-male attacks, while activation of these neurons promoted urine marking and aggression. Thus, PMvDAT+ neurons exemplify a hypothalamic node that transforms sex-related chemo-signals into recognition and behaviors.

Fig1. Using AAV-GCaMP6s and RV to study the activity of PMvDAT+ neurons
Using calcium recording, virus tracing (From BrainVTA) and chemogenetic manipulation, the researchers revealed the neural mechanism of hypothalamic PMv DAT neurons encoding olfactory information and regulating the aggressive behavior of male mice. The results demonstrated a critical and distinctive role for PMvDAT+ neurons in transducing conspecific male cues for appropriate behavioral control.

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