Neuron  | Prof. Xiang Yu: Single-neuron projectomes of mouse paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus oxytocin neurons reveal mutually exclusive projection patterns


Oxytocin (OXT) plays important roles in autonomic control and behavioral modulation. However, it is unknown how the projection patterns of OXT neurons align with underlying physiological functions. Here, we present the reconstructed single-neuron, whole-brain projectomes of 264 OXT neurons of the mouse paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH) at submicron resolution. These neurons hierarchically clustered into two groups, with distinct morphological and transcriptional characteristics and mutually exclusive projection patterns. Cluster 1 (177 neurons) axons terminated exclusively in the median eminence (ME) and have few collaterals terminating within hypothalamic regions. By contrast, cluster 2 (87 neurons) sent wide-spread axons to multiple brain regions, but excluding ME. Dendritic arbors of OXT neurons also extended outside of the PVH, suggesting capability to sense signals and modulate target regions. These single-neuron resolution observations reveal distinct OXT subpopulations, provide comprehensive analysis of their morphology, and lay the structural foundation for better understanding the functional heterogeneity of OXT neurons.

Original  link