Ultrafast optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway by targeting‐optimized Chronos
Keppeler, Daniel ; Merino, Ricardo Martins ; Lopez de la Morena, David ; Bali, Burak ; Huet, Antoine Tarquin ; Gehrt, Anna ; Wrobel, Christian ; Subramanian, Swati et al.
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16193
Optogenetic tools, providing non‐invasive control over selected cells, have the potential to revolutionize sensory prostheses for humans. Optogenetic stimulation of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in the ear provides a future alternative to electrical stimulation used in cochlear implants. However, most channelrhodopsins do not support the high temporal fidelity pertinent to auditory coding because they require milliseconds to close after light‐off. Here, we biophysically characterized the fast channelrhodopsin Chronos and revealed a deactivation time constant of less than a millisecond at body temperature. In order to enhance neural expression, we improved its trafficking to the plasma membrane (Chronos‐ES/TS). Following efficient transduction of SGNs using early postnatal injection of the adeno‐associated virus AAV‐PHP.B into the mouse cochlea, fiber‐based optical stimulation elicited optical auditory brainstem responses (oABR) with minimal latencies of 1 ms, thresholds of 5 μJ and 100 μs per pulse, and sizable amplitudes even at 1,000 Hz of stimulation. Recordings from single SGNs demonstrated good temporal precision of light‐evoked spiking. In conclusion, efficient virus‐mediated expression of targeting‐optimized Chronos‐ES/TS achieves ultrafast optogenetic control of neurons.