Forelimb movements evoked by optogenetic stimulation of the macaque motor cortex

Hidenori Watanabe, Hiromi Sano, Satomi Chiken, Kenta Kobayashi, Yuko Fukata, Masaki Fukata, Hajime Mushiake, Atsushi Nambu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Optogenetics has become an indispensable tool for investigating brain functions. Although non-human primates are particularly useful models for understanding the functions and dysfunctions of the human brain, application of optogenetics to non-human primates is still limited. In the present study, we generate an effective adeno-associated viral vector serotype DJ to express channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) under the control of a strong ubiquitous CAG promoter and inject into the somatotopically identified forelimb region of the primary motor cortex in macaque monkeys. ChR2 is strongly expressed around the injection sites, and optogenetic intracortical microstimulation (oICMS) through a homemade optrode induces prominent cortical activity: Even single-pulse, short-duration oICMS evokes long-lasting repetitive firings of cortical neurons. In addition, oICMS elicits distinct forelimb movements and muscle activity, which are comparable to those elicited by conventional electrical ICMS. The present study removes obstacles to optogenetic manipulation of neuronal activity and behaviors in non-human primates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3253
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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