Sergey Kasparov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter defines optogenetics as an experiment that uses a combination of genetic manipulation and optics. Optogenetics can be used for studies of the autonomic areas of the brain and provides tools for specific control of phenotypically identified groups of neurons and more recently, astrocytes. Optical monitoring of various processes in cells of interest is advantageous compared to electrical recordings because it is noninvasive, allows much better spatial resolution, not limited to electrogenic processes and typically provides information from more than one cell, thus greatly increasing the throughput. Controlling activity of neurons and astrocytes using optogenetic effectors is a new and very exciting technology which circumvents the limitations of all the previous methods used for the same purpose. In contrast to electrical current, light will only affect cells which specifically express optogenetic effectors and this will have no effect on other cells even if they are located nearby or on the fibers en-passant. Optogenetic excitation of the retrotrapezoid nucleus has recently been used to address its role in respiratory control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrimer on the Autonomic Nervous System
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9780123865250
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Enzymes
  • G-protein coupled receptors
  • Gene expression
  • Genetic manipulation
  • Genetic targeting
  • Light-sensitive silencers
  • Optics
  • Optogenetics

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