Optogenetic investigation of neural circuits underlying brain disease in animal models

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Mar 20;13(4):251-66. doi: 10.1038/nrn3171.


Optogenetic tools have provided a new way to establish causal relationships between brain activity and behaviour in health and disease. Although no animal model captures human disease precisely, behaviours that recapitulate disease symptoms may be elicited and modulated by optogenetic methods, including behaviours that are relevant to anxiety, fear, depression, addiction, autism and parkinsonism. The rapid proliferation of optogenetic reagents together with the swift advancement of strategies for implementation has created new opportunities for causal and precise dissection of the circuits underlying brain diseases in animal models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Neurons / physiology*