Waxholm space: an image-based reference for coordinating mouse brain research

Neuroimage. 2010 Nov 1;53(2):365-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.06.067. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


We describe an atlas of the C57BL/6 mouse brain based on MRI and conventional Nissl histology. Magnetic resonance microscopy was performed on a total of 14 specimens that were actively stained to enhance tissue contrast. Images were acquired with three different MR protocols yielding contrast dependent on spin lattice relaxation (T1), spin spin relaxation (T2), and magnetic susceptibility (T2*). Spatial resolution was 21.5 mum (isotropic). Conventional histology (Nissl) was performed on a limited set of these same specimens and the Nissl images were registered (3D-to-3D) to the MR data. Probabilistic atlases for 37 structures are provided, along with average atlases. The availability of three different MR protocols, the Nissl data, and the labels provides a rich set of options for registration of other atlases to the same coordinate system, thus facilitating data-sharing. All the data is available for download via the web.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atlases as Topic
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Histology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mice / anatomy & histology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reference Standards
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology