Multispectral labeling technique to map many neighboring axonal projections in the same tissue

We describe a method to map the location of axonal arbors of many individual neurons simultaneously via the spectral properties of retrogradely transported dye-labeled vesicles. We inject overlapping regions of an axon target area with three or more different colored retrograde tracers. On the basis of the combinations and intensities of the colors in the individual vesicles transported to neuronal somata, we calculate the projection sites of each neuron’s axon. This neuronal positioning system (NPS) enables mapping of many axons in a simple automated way. In our experiments, NPS combined with spectral (Brainbow) labeling of the input to autonomic ganglion cells showed that the locations of ganglion cell projections to a mouse salivary gland related to the identities of their preganglionic axonal innervation. NPS could also delineate projections of many axons simultaneously in the mouse central nervous system.

Authors: Shlomo Tsuriel, Sagi Gudes, Ryan W Draft, Alexander M Binshtok & Jeff W Lichtman
Year of publication: 2015
Journal: Nat Methods. 2015 Jun;12(6):547-52.

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