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A genetically encoded fluorescent sensor for rapid and specific in vivo detection of norepinephrine

By Jiesi Feng, Changmei Zhang, Julieta Lischinsky, Miao Jing, Jingheng Zhou, Huan Wang, Yajun Zhang, Ao Dong, Zhaofa Wu, Hao Wu, Weiyu Chen, Peng Zhang, Jing Zou, S. Andrew Hires, J. Julius Zhu, Guohong Cui, Dayu Lin, Jiulin Du, Yulong Li

Posted 23 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/449546 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.02.037)

Norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (Epi), two key biogenic monoamine neurotransmitters, are involved in a wide range of physiological processes. However, their precise dynamics and regulation remain poorly characterized, in part due to limitations of available techniques for measuring these molecules in vivo. Here, we developed a family of GPCR Activation-Based NE/Epi (GRABNE) sensors with a 230% peak ΔF/F0 response to NE, good photostability, nanomolar-to-micromolar sensitivities, sub-second rapid kinetics, high specificity to NE vs. dopamine. Viral- or transgenic-mediated expression of GRABNE sensors were able to detect electrical-stimulation evoked NE release in the locus coeruleus (LC) of mouse brain slices, looming-evoked NE release in the midbrain of live zebrafish, as well as optogenetically and behaviorally triggered NE release in the LC and hypothalamus of freely moving mice. Thus, GRABNE sensors are a robust tool for rapid and specific monitoring of in vivo NE/Epi transmission in both physiological and pathological processes.

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