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Neuronal Tracing With Genetically Modified Rabies Virus

The first viral tracer system for identification of neurons that are monosynaptically connected to a single cell has been developed recently (Wickersham et al. 2007). The system employs defective, pseudotyped rabies viruses (RV) allowing for infection of defined cells, and transient complementation in situ to support a single step of transsynaptic crossing to presynaptic cells.
This technology should enable a more detailed understanding of neuronal connectivity and plasticity than has previously been possible.
This central project is producing pseudotyped RV for retrograde tracing of synaptic connections as well as developing novel vectors for manipulation of activity and function of synaptically connected cells and for advanced readout.