Optogenetics pp 207-225 | Cite as

Combined Optogenetic and Chemogenetic Control of Neurons

  • Ken Berglund
  • Jack K. Tung
  • Bryan Higashikubo
  • Robert E. Gross
  • Christopher I. Moore
  • Ute HochgeschwenderEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1408)


Optogenetics provides an array of elements for specific biophysical control, while designer chemogenetic receptors provide a minimally invasive method to control circuits in vivo by peripheral injection. We developed a strategy for selective regulation of activity in specific cells that integrates opto- and chemogenetic approaches, and thus allows manipulation of neuronal activity over a range of spatial and temporal scales in the same experimental animal. Light-sensing molecules (opsins) are activated by biologically produced light through luciferases upon peripheral injection of a small molecule substrate. Such luminescent opsins, luminopsins, allow conventional fiber optic use of optogenetic sensors, while at the same time providing chemogenetic access to the same sensors. We describe applications of this approach in cultured neurons in vitro, in brain slices ex vivo, and in awake and anesthetized animals in vivo.

Key words

Luminopsin Luciferase Bioluminescence Coelenterazine Optogenetics Chemogenetics Neuron Electrophysiology Multielectrode array Behavior 



This work was in part supported by grants from NIH (NS079268, R.G.; NS086433, J.T.; MH101525, U.H.), NSF (CBET1464686, U.H.), Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (U.H.), The Michael J. Fox Foundation (C.M.), and The Brain Research Foundation (C.M.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Berglund
    • 1
  • Jack K. Tung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bryan Higashikubo
    • 3
  • Robert E. Gross
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher I. Moore
    • 3
  • Ute Hochgeschwender
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Coulter Department of Biomedical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeuroscienceBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Neuroscience Program and College of MedicineCentral Michigan UniversityMt. PleasantUSA

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