Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever

Date:
October 26, 2010
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
The most detailed magnetic resonance images ever obtained of a mammalian brain are now available to researchers in a free, online atlas of an ultra-high-resolution mouse brain. The interactive images in the atlas will allow researchers worldwide to evaluate the brain from all angles and assess and share their mouse studies against this reference brain in genetics, toxicology and drug discovery.

The image on the left is a conventional (optical) histology image. The middle panel is taken from the MR images that define WHS. This "slice" from the whole intact brain is completely without distortion. The third panel provides color labels for the structures so clearly seen in the MR images.
Credit: G. Allan Johnson, Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy

The most detailed magnetic resonance images ever obtained of a mammalian brain are now available to researchers in a free, online atlas of an ultra-high-resolution mouse brain, thanks to work at the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy.

In a typical clinical MRI scan, each pixel in the image represents a cube of tissue, called a voxel, which is typically 1x1x3 millimeters. "The atlas images, however, are more than 300,000 times higher resolution than an MRI scan, with voxels that are 20 micrometers on a side," said G. Allan Johnson, Ph.D., who heads the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy and is Charles E. Putman Distinguished Professor of Radiology.

The interactive images in the atlas will allow researchers worldwide to evaluate the brain from all angles and assess and share their mouse studies against this reference brain in genetics, toxicology and drug discovery.

The brain atlas' detail reaches a resolution of 21 microns. A micron is a millionth of a meter, or 0.00003937 of an inch.

An article detailing the creation of the atlas was published as the cover story in the November issue of NeuroImage journal.

The atlas used three different magnetic resonance microscopy protocols of the intact brain followed by conventional histology to highlight different structures in the reference brain. The brains were scanned using an MR system operating at a magnetic field more than 6 times higher than is routinely used in the clinic. The images were acquired on fixed tissues, with the brain in the cranium to avoid the distortion that occurs when tissues are thinly sliced for conventional histology.

The new Waxholm Space brain can be digitally sliced from any plane or angle, so that researchers can precisely visualize any regions in the brain, along any axis without loss of spatial resolution. (Waxholm is the Swedish town where the early concepts gelled for this atlas.)

"Researchers can take the reference brain apart and put it back together, because we have the 3-D data set intact, and any section will have the same excellent resolution," said Johnson, who is also a professor of biomedical engineering and physics at Duke. "It eliminates the Humpty Dumpty problem that researchers used to face when they made 3-D measurements of brain structures."

For example, a geneticist might want to alter a mouse's genotype in an experiment and learn what happens when the animal becomes highly responsive to fear challenges. "It would be interesting to see if the amygdala, (a brain center related to emotional arousal), is really smaller or larger in the animal," Johnson said. "However, if you do conventional histology, the animal brain shrinks when it is dried or prepared in alcohol, sometimes by about 40 percent. Because of variability, that would make it challenging to measure. This atlas provides a reference to measure against."

The team was also able to digitally segment 37 unique brain structures using the three different data acquisition strategies.

Scientists obtained images of brains from eight mice of the most frequently used strain of laboratory mice (C57BL), aged 66-78 days old. They registered the images together and created both an average and a probabilistic brain for reference. The average and probabilistic brains provide quantitative measure of variability. "It was truly remarkable how alike these structures were from brain to brain," he said.

All of the data is available on the web: www.civm.duhs.duke.edu/neuro201001.

As new data is gathered from other sources, researchers will be able to register it to the same coordinate system, which will promote data sharing, Johnson said. For example the Duke group has recently added data -- also at the highest resolution yet attained -- that allows definition of fiber tracts connecting different parts of the brain. Investigators at the Allen Brain Institute are now using the MR data to provide 3-D location for their extensive gene expression studies (http://mouse.brain-map.org).

The project was supported by the National Center for Research Resources, and the National Cancer Institute Small Animal Imaging Resource Program, the Mouse Biomedical Informatics Research Network, and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility.

Co-authors include Alexandra Badea, Jeffrey Brandenburg, Gary Cofer, and Boma Fubara of the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, and senior author Jonathan Nissanov and Song Liu of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Nissanov is also with the Department of Basic Sciences at Touro University Nevada in Henderson, Nev.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Allan Johnson, Alexandra Badea, Jeffrey Brandenburg, Gary Cofer, Boma Fubara, Song Liu, Jonathan Nissanov. Waxholm Space: An image-based reference for coordinating mouse brain research. NeuroImage, 2010; 53 (2): 365 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.06.067

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123906.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2010, October 26). Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123906.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123906.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins