Rat resting in a gloved hand

Towards quantitative cell type-based mapping of the whole mouse brain

Prof Paxinos is joining Assoc Prof Pavel Osten at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in developing a method to rapidly determine the identity and cell composition of any region within the whole mouse brain using a combination of histological and statistical modelling techniques. By using advanced techniques such as two-photon microscopy* and mechanical tissue sectioning from a block face (which does not distort the tissue with cutting) they will be able to create detailed 3D maps in wild-type and transgenic mice at a resolution of 1μm. This technique is so precise that it can create 5,600 serial coronal sections from a single mouse brain (XY = 1 μm, Z = 2.5 μm) over a period of 9 days. Individual types of neurons (GABAergic for instance) will be mapped throughout these whole brains at different neurodevelopmental stages and in aging, by using fluorescent tagging techniques. Once a pipeline has been established, it will be a powerful tool for researchers for analysing cell composition throughout the brain in wild-type and transgenic mice.