Neurological disorders & 3D Histology

Microglia marked by IBA-1 (magenta) cluster around β-amyloid plaques (cyan) in brain of 7-month-old homozygous ARTE10 (disease model #16347) female mouse from Taconic Biosciences. SmartSPIM 15X objective.

Neuroscientists studying major neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases frequently use transgenic mouse models to evaluate disease progression and the impact of potential therapies. For instance, mice with overexpression of Alzheimer’s related proteins (e.g. amyloid precursor protein, APP) or mutations that trigger pathology (see Jankowsky and Zheng 2017) demonstrate the hallmarks of… Continue reading Neurological disorders & 3D Histology

c-FOS: Molecular biology and detection for analysis of neuronal activity throughout the brain

An image stack captures the hippocampus and cortex in the sagittal plane of a mouse brain left hemisphere stained with anti-c-FOS. Acquired at 3.6X magnification and 4 µm z-step. Scale bar = 500 µm.

Although in the realm of neuroscience c-FOS protein is typically recognized as a marker of neuronal activity, it was originally discovered nearly forty years ago in rat fibroblasts (Curran and Teich, J. Virology, 1982) and characterized as being encoded by a proto-oncogene (a gene that once mutated can become tumor-inducing) and is overexpressed in a… Continue reading c-FOS: Molecular biology and detection for analysis of neuronal activity throughout the brain

Alzheimer’s biomarkers in 3D: A new perspective on an aging disease

Immunolabeled GFAP (cyan) and Beta-amyloid plaques (magenta) in a 5xFAD mouse brain model of Alzheimer’s disease. Scale bar = 100 µm, 15X objective. Sample courtesy of Epp Lab, University of Calgary.

In 1906 at the University of Munich the neuropathologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer (Figure 1) was studying the brain of a recently deceased patient, Auguste Deter. Previously Alzheimer had assisted Frau Deter in the city asylum in Frankfurt and observed that she suffered from memory loss, delusions and dementia. Working in Dr. Emil Kraepelin’s lab in Munich… Continue reading Alzheimer’s biomarkers in 3D: A new perspective on an aging disease

Whole brain imaging of the central cholinergic system through immunolabeling ChAT

Acetylcholine neurotransmission in the brain via the central cholinergic system has been implicated in critical functions including cognition, arousal, attention and learning. Moreover, interest in central cholinergic transmission has been piqued given that loss of cholinergic innervation may play an important role in neurodegenerative disorders, particularly dementias. Hence, drugs that elevate acetylcholine transmission in the… Continue reading Whole brain imaging of the central cholinergic system through immunolabeling ChAT