Light-induced silencing of neural activity in Rosa26 knock-in mice conditionally expressing the microbial halorhodopsin eNpHR2.0

Neurosci Res. 2013 Jan;75(1):53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2012.03.008. Epub 2012 Mar 23.


Temporally precise inhibition of genetically defined cell populations in intact nervous systems has been enabled by the microbial halorhodopsin NpHR, a fast, light-activated chloride pump. Here, we report the generation of new mouse strains that express eNpHR2-EYFP fusion proteins after Cre- and/or Flp-mediated recombination to silence neural activity in vivo. In these mouse strains, Cre/Flp recombination induced a high-level of eNpHR2-EYFP expression. Slice whole-cell patch clamp experiments confirmed that eNpHR2-EYFP-expressing neurons could be optically hyperpolarized and inhibited from firing action potentials. Thus, these mouse strains offer powerful tools for light-induced silencing of neural activity in genetically defined cell populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Halorhodopsins / biosynthesis
  • Halorhodopsins / genetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Light
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques


  • Halorhodopsins