Thermal constraints on in vivo optogenetic manipulations.
- Author(s): Owen, Scott F
- Liu, Max H
- Kreitzer, Anatol C
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0422-3
A key assumption of optogenetics is that light only affects opsin-expressing neurons. However, illumination invariably heats tissue, and many physiological processes are temperature-sensitive. Commonly used illumination protocols increased the temperature by 0.2-2 °C and suppressed spiking in multiple brain regions. In the striatum, light delivery activated an inwardly rectifying potassium conductance and biased rotational behavior. Thus, careful consideration of light-delivery parameters is required, as even modest intracranial heating can confound interpretation of optogenetic experiments.