A Platform for Brain-Wide Imaging and Reconstruction of Individual Neurons

Elife. 2016 Jan 20;5:e10566. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10566.

Abstract

The structure of axonal arbors controls how signals from individual neurons are routed within the mammalian brain. However, the arbors of very few long-range projection neurons have been reconstructed in their entirety, as axons with diameters as small as 100 nm arborize in target regions dispersed over many millimeters of tissue. We introduce a platform for high-resolution, three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of complete tissue volumes that enables the visualization and reconstruction of long-range axonal arbors. This platform relies on a high-speed two-photon microscope integrated with a tissue vibratome and a suite of computational tools for large-scale image data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by reconstructing the axonal arbors of multiple neurons in the motor cortex across a single mouse brain.

Keywords: Axonal reconstruction; Neuroanatomy; Neuroinformatics; Tissue clearing; Whole-brain imaging; mouse; neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Optical Imaging / methods*