Investigation of Spatial Interaction Between Astrocytes and Neurons in Cleared Brains

J Vis Exp. 2022 Mar 31:(181). doi: 10.3791/63679.


Combining viral vector transduction and tissue clearing using the CLARITY method makes it possible to simultaneously investigate several types of brain cells and their interactions. Viral vector transduction enables the marking of diverse cell types in different fluorescence colors within the same tissue. Cells can be identified genetically by activity or projection. Using a modified CLARITY protocol, the potential sample size of astrocytes and neurons has grown by 2-3 orders of magnitude. The use of CLARITY allows the imaging of complete astrocytes, which are too large to fit in their entirety in slices, and the examination of the somata with all their processes. In addition, it provides the opportunity to investigate the spatial interaction between astrocytes and different neuronal cell types, namely, the number of pyramidal neurons in each astrocytic domain or the proximity between astrocytes and specific inhibitory neuron populations. This paper describes, in detail, how these methods are to be applied.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes* / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Neurons* / physiology
  • Pyramidal Cells

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