Molecular Tools for Targeted Control of Nerve Cell Electrical Activity. Part I

D. V. Kolesov, E. L. Sokolinskaya, K. A. Lukyanov, A. M. Bogdanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In modern life sciences, the issue of a specific, exogenously directed manipulation of a cell's biochemistry is a highly topical one. In the case of electrically excitable cells, the aim of the manipulation is to control the cells' electrical activity, with the result being either excitation with subsequent generation of an action potential or inhibition and suppression of the excitatory currents. The techniques of electrical activity stimulation are of particular significance in tackling the most challenging basic problem: figuring out how the nervous system of higher multicellular organisms functions. At this juncture, when neuroscience is gradually abandoning the reductionist approach in favor of the direct investigation of complex neuronal systems, minimally invasive methods for brain tissue stimulation are becoming the basic element in the toolbox of those involved in the field. In this review, we describe three approaches that are based on the delivery of exogenous, genetically encoded molecules sensitive to external stimuli into the nervous tissue. These approaches include optogenetics (Part I) as well as chemogenetics and thermogenetics (Part II), which are significantly different not only in the nature of the stimuli and structure of the appropriate effector proteins, but also in the details of experimental applications. The latter circumstance is an indication that these are rather complementary than competing techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-64
Number of pages13
JournalActa Naturae
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • action potential
  • chemogenetics
  • chemoreceptors
  • GPCR
  • ion channels
  • membrane voltage
  • neurointerface
  • neuronal activity stimulation
  • neuronal excitation
  • neuronal inhibition
  • optogenetics
  • rhodopsin
  • thermogenetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Tools for Targeted Control of Nerve Cell Electrical Activity. Part I'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this