A cloak of invisibility for glutamate

Glutamate is the major neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain. Glutamate receptors are widely distributed in the central nervous system and are crucial in learning and memory.

In this article published in the journal PNAS1, the researchers2 have developed a new "caged" glutamate with biological and photochemical properties that enable, for the first time, experiments in behaving mice. 

This article was the subject of a news item on the INSB website.

© Alexandre Mourot

Figure: A) Principle of caged glutamates and caged glutamate protected by the cape. B) Opto-fluidic approach to deliver the caged compound and light to a region of the brain of a behavioural mouse. C) The mouse spends more time on the light-associated side (right) than on the control side (without light, left), as shown by the mouse trajectory (black line).


1Optofluidic control of rodent learning using cloaked caged glutamate.Durand-de Cuttoli R, Chauhan PS, Pétriz Reyes A, Faure P, Mourot A, Ellis-Davies GCR.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Mar 9. pii: 201920869. doi:10.1073/pnas.1920869117. [Epub ahead of print]

2Team Neurophysiology and behavior, lead by Philippe Faure et Alexandre Mourot : /en/research/neuroscience/neurophysiology-and-behavior