Updated: Sep 22, 2022
"Genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors allow intracellular signaling dynamics to be tracked in live cells and tissues using optical detection. Many such biosensors are based on the principle of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), and we have recently developed a simple approach for in vivo detection of FRET-based biosensor signals using fiber photometry. By combining fiber photometry with FRET-based biosensors, we were able to track GPCR-dependent signaling pathways over time, and in response to drug treatments in freely-moving adult rats. Recording from specific neuronal populations, we can quantify intracellular signaling while simultaneously measuring behavioral responses. Our approach, described in detail here, uses adeno-associated viruses infused intracerebrally in order to express genetically-encoded FRET-based biosensors. After several weeks to allow biosensor expression, fiber photometry is used in order to record drug responses in real time from freely-moving adult rats. This methodology would be compatible with other mammalian species and with many biosensors. Hence, it has wide applicability across a spectrum of neuroscience research, ranging from the study of neural circuits and behavior, to preclinical drug development and screening."