c-FOS Brain Mapping: Challenges & Solutions

Mapping the localization of increased c-FOS expression provides important insights into specific brain regions implicated in the responses to a range of stimuli. Researchers have used c-FOS protein up-regulation as an indicator for a variety of cellular activities. For instance, this marker is a useful proxy for measuring the mammalian response to various stimuli including… Continue reading c-FOS Brain Mapping: Challenges & Solutions

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

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

3D labeling and imaging of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) localization in an intact mouse brain hemisphere

Figure 2: 400-µm MIP of Neuropeptide Y staining in mouse brain dorsal cortex.

Neurons communicate not only via conventional neurotransmitters but also through neuropeptides. Whereas neurotransmitters often operate by changing the excitability of neighboring neurons, neuropeptides typically impact molecular pathways within target cells leading to diverse modulatory effects. Individual neurons can release both a conventional neurotransmitter and one or more neuropeptides, providing the potential for multiple avenues of… Continue reading 3D labeling and imaging of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) localization in an intact mouse brain hemisphere

Whole brain molecular labeling & imaging techniques shed new light on Alzheimer’s Disease

Prof. Li-Huei Tsai’s lab at MIT is focused on uncovering the cellular and circuit-level mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s disease, the devastating neurological disorder that degrades the brain’s learning and memory systems. In a 2016 paper in Nature (Iaccarino et al.), the lab reported the surprising discovery that by simply entraining the activity of cortical networks… Continue reading Whole brain molecular labeling & imaging techniques shed new light on Alzheimer’s Disease

Tissue processing in the 21st century

Figure 2: LifeCanvas' 21st century tissue-processing pipeline replaces traditional histology workflows, which involve a multitude of distinct steps and pieces of equipment (Figure 1), with a streamlined approach comprised of just 5 easy steps involving 3 turn-key devices and 2 simple solution kits.

Breathtaking progress in life sciences has brought us innovations such as high-throughput and individually-affordable genomic sequencing as well as next-generation flow cytometry that can phenotype dissociated cells for their expression of dozens of markers simultaneously. The development of cutting-edge technology solutions with standardized workflows has led to increased efficiency and reliability for these and other… Continue reading Tissue processing in the 21st century