Simultaneous electrophysiology and fiber photometry in freely behaving mice

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In vivo electrophysiology is the gold standard technique used to investigate sub-second neural dynamics in freely behaving animals. However, monitoring cell-type-specific population activity is not a trivial task. Over the last decade, fiber photometry based on genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) has been widely adopted as a versatile tool to monitor cell-type-specific population activity in vivo. However, this approach suffers from low temporal resolution. Here, we combine these two approaches to monitor both sub-second field potentials and cell-type-specific population activity in freely behaving mice. By developing an economical custom-made system and constructing a hybrid implant of an electrode and a fiber optic cannula, we simultaneously monitor artifact-free mesopontine field potentials and calcium transients in cholinergic neurons across the sleep-wake cycle. We find that mesopontine cholinergic activity co-occurs with sub-second pontine waves, called P-waves, during rapid eye movement sleep. Given the simplicity of our approach, simultaneous electrophysiological recording and cell-type-specific imaging provides a novel and valuable tool for interrogating state-dependent neural circuit dynamics in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2020


  • brain state
  • REM sleep
  • GCaMP
  • acetylcholine
  • pontine waves
  • brainstem


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