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Different subgroups of cholinergic neurons in the basal foreb
Cell type specific trans-monosynaptic AAV-RV tracing system was utilized to investigate the inputs of subregional BFCNs from different olfactory areas. Anterograde transsynaptic virus tracer, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), was used to further confirm the inputs of the BFCN subsets.
The viruses used in this article are in the table below
Tracing Helper  AAV-Dio-GFP-TVA
Vesicular stomatitis virus  VSV
Yingwei Zheng, Shouya Feng, Xutao Zhu, Wentao Jiang, Pengjie Wen, Feiyang Ye, Xiaoping Rao, Sen Jin, Xiaobin He and Fuqiang Xu
Pub Date: 2018-11-13,  DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2018.00099,  Email:
Abstracts: The mammalian basal forebrain (BF), a heterogenous structure providing the primary cholinergic inputs to cortical and limbic structures, plays a crucial role in various physiological processes such as learning/memory and attention. Despite the involvement of the BF cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) in olfaction related memory has been reported, the underlying neural circuits remain poorly understood. Here, we combined viral trans-synaptic tracing systems and ChAT-cre transgenic mice to systematically reveal the relationship between the olfactory system and the different subsets of BFCNs. The retrograde AAV-RV tracing showed that different subregional BFCNs received diverse inputs from multiple olfactory cortices. The cholinergic neurons in medial and caudal horizontal diagonal band Broca (HDB), magnocellular preoptic area (MCPO)  and ventral substantia innominate (SI) (hereafter HMS complex, HMSc) received the inputs from the entire olfactory system such as the olfactory bulb (OB), anterior olfactory nucleus (AON),  entorhinal cortex (ENT), basolateral amygdala, and especially the piriform cortex (PC) and hippocampus (HIP); while medial septum (MS/DB) and a part of rostral HDB (hereafter MS/DB complex, MS/DBc), predominantly from HIP; and nucleus basalis Meynert (NBM) and dorsal SI (hereafter NBM complex, NBMc), mainly from the central amygdala. The anterograde VSV tracing further validated that the major target of the OB to the BF is HMSc. To correlate these structural relations between the BFCNs and olfactory functions, the neurons activated in the BF during olfaction related task were mapped with c-fos immunostaining. It was found that some of the BFCNs were activated in go/no-go olfactory discrimination task, but with different activated patterns. Interestingly, the BFCNs in HMSc were more significantly activated than the other subregions. Therefore, our data have demonstrated that among the different subgroups of BFCNs, HMSc is more closely related to the olfactory system, both structurally and functionally. This work provides the evidence for distinct roles of different subsets of BFNCs in olfaction associated memory.
Figure 1. Retrograde AAV-RV viral tracing.
In this study, the viral tracing results revealed that the different subpopulations of BFCNs in HMSc, NBMc and MS/DBc received diverse inputs from the olfactory system differentially, and the c-fos mapping results demonstrated that these different subpopulations of BFCNs were activated by an olfaction associated learning/memory task differentially. These results provided new structural and functional information for the relationship between the different subsets of BFCNs and the olfactory system.

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