Functional and multiscale 3D structural investigation of brain tissue through correlative in vivo physiology, synchrotron microtomography and volume electron microscopy

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Understanding the function of biological tissues requires a coordinated study of physiology and structure, exploring volumes that contain complete functional units at a detail that resolves the relevant features. Here, we introduce an approach to address this challenge: Mouse brain tissue sections containing a region where function was recorded using in vivo 2-photon calcium imaging were stained, dehydrated, resin-embedded and imaged with synchrotron X-ray computed tomography with propagation-based phase contrast (SXRT). SXRT provided context at subcellular detail, and could be followed by targeted acquisition of multiple volumes using serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM). In the olfactory bulb, combining SXRT and SBEM enabled disambiguation of in vivo-assigned regions of interest. In
the hippocampus, we found that superficial pyramidal neurons in CA1a displayed a larger density of spine apparati than deeper ones. Altogether, this approach can enable a functional and structural investigation of subcellular features in the context of cells and tissues.

Journal details

Volume 13
Issue number 1
Pages 2923
Available online
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