How does the structure of the brain change with experience?
I am approaching this broad question by imaging vasculature, neurons, and astrocytes in living mice over time-scales of minutes to months.
Cerebral vascular networks are stable in the healthy adult. (a) Exemplar in vivo volume of cerebral vasculature in the motor cortex imaged from the dura to deep cortical layers (left), representative image of capillaries within neuronal layer II/III overlaid with 3D tracing (right). Image is a maximal z-projection from 200-220 μm depth (right). (b) In vivo time-lapse images of a descending artery (A), an ascending venuole (V), and capillary segments spanning a one month interval showing stability in vascular networks. Images are maximal z-projection from 100-200 μm depth, scale bar is 10 μm.
Time-lapse in vivo two-photon images of dendrites and axons of pyramidal Layer V neurons in the motor cortex of a Thy1-GFPm mouse.
Vasculature and neurons
Maximal intensity z-projections of neurons and vasculature imaged simultaneously. Here, neurons are labelled with GFP in a Thy1-GFPm mouse while vasculature is simultaneously images following the injection of a Texas-Red fluorophore into the blood.
Astrocytes and vasculature. In this image the green cells are S100-B positive astrocytes and in
red is the cerebral vasculature labeled with Texas Red. The S100-B mice were kindly provided by Adam Sapirstein.
Animation of each image in a 3D volume. Green is GFP in endothelial cells.
Y-Z projection of 3D image volume. Green is GFP in endothelial cells.