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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 01

J Vis Exp



In Vivo Calcium Imaging of Dorsal Root Ganglia Neurons’ Response to Somatic and Visceral Stimuli.


Liu K, Liu Y, Wang S, Wang X, Zhang Z, Gao X


A technique is described for surgically exposing the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of the lumbar-6 in a live, anesthetized laboratory mouse, along with the protocol for in vivo calcium imaging of the exposed DRG in response to various visceral and somatic stimuli. Pirt-GCaMP6s mice or C57BL6 mice intrathecally injected with AAV viruses packaged with GCaMP6s were utilized to capture Ca2+ transients. The amplitude of these transients indicates sensitivity to specific sensory modalities. Afferent fibers originate from internal organs, with primary neuronal cell bodies in spinal or vagal ganglia. Studies on visceral nociception and acupuncture analgesia can potentially be conducted on primary sensory neurons using advanced imaging technologies like in vivo calcium imaging, allowing for the recording of neuronal activity ensembles in the intact animal during stimulation or intervention. The responses of DRG neuron ensembles to somatic and visceral stimuli applied to their corresponding receptive fields were recorded. This technique illustrates how neuronal populations react to various types of somatic and visceral stimuli. It is possible to comprehensively compare neuronal ensemble responses to different stimuli, which is a particularly valuable approach in research on visceral pain and segmental mechanisms of somatic stimulation, such as acupuncture.