Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 633 Views Oct 20, 2023

Whole-brain clearing and imaging methods are becoming more common in mice but have yet to become standard in rats, at least partially due to inadequate clearing from most available protocols. Here, we build on recent mouse-tissue clearing and light-sheet imaging methods and develop and adapt them to rats. We first used cleared rat brains to create an open-source, 3D rat atlas at 25 μ resolution. We then registered and imported other existing labeled volumes and made all of the code and data available for the community ( to further enable modern, whole-brain neuroscience in the rat.

Key features

• This protocol adapts iDISCO (Renier et al., 2014) and uDISCO (Pan et al., 2016) tissue-clearing techniques to consistently clear rat brains.

• This protocol also decreases the number of working hours per day to fit in an 8 workday.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 982 Views Jan 5, 2023

Molecular characterization of different cell types in rodent brains is a widely used and important approach in neuroscience. Fluorescent detection of transcripts using RNAscope (ACDBio) has quickly became a standard in situ hybridization (ISH) approach. Its sensitivity and specificity allow for the simultaneous detection of between three and forty-eight low abundance mRNAs in single cells (i.e., multiplexing or hiplexing), and, in contrast to other ISH techniques, it is performed in a shorter amount of time. Manual quantification of transcripts is a laborious and time-consuming task even for small portions of a larger tissue section. Herein, we present a protocol for creating high-quality images for quantification of RNAscope-labeled neurons in the rat brain. This protocol uses custom-made scripts within the open-source software QuPath to create an automated workflow for the careful optimization and validation of cell detection parameters. Moreover, we describe a method to derive mRNA signal thresholds using negative controls. This protocol and automated workflow may help scientists to reliably and reproducibly prepare and analyze rodent brain tissue for cell type characterization using RNAscope.

Graphical abstract

0 Q&A 3551 Views Aug 5, 2021

The pancreas is a heavily innervated organ, but pancreatic innervation can be challenging to comprehensively assess using conventional histological methods. However, recent advances in whole-mount tissue clearing and 3D rendering techniques have allowed detailed reconstructions of pancreatic innervation. Optical clearing is used to enhance tissue transparency and reduce light scattering, thus eliminating the need to section the tissue. Here, we describe a modified version of the optical tissue clearing protocol iDISCO+ (immunolabeling-enabled three-dimensional imaging of solvent-cleared organs) optimized for pancreatic innervation and endocrine markers. The protocol takes 13-19 days, depending on tissue size. In addition, we include protocols for imaging using light sheet and confocal microscopes and for 3D segmentation of pancreatic innervation and endocrine cells using Imaris.

0 Q&A 7477 Views Aug 5, 2019
Recently developed CLARITY (Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamide-hybridized Rigid Imaging/Immunostaining/In situ-hybridization-compatible Tis-sue-hYdrogel) technique renders the tissue transparent by removing lipids in the tissue, while preserving and stabilizing the cellular and subcellular structures. This provides effective penetration of diverse labeling probes, from primary and secondary antibodies to complementary DNA and RNA strands. Followed by high-resolution 3D imaging of neuronal cells and their projections in thick sections, tissue blocks, whole brains, or whole animals, CLARITY allows for superior quantitative analysis of neuronal tissue. Here, we provide our detailed protocol for PACT (Passive Clarity Technique) in brain tissue of diverse species, including human, non-human primate, rodents, and zebrafish. We describe the six principal steps: (1) Tissue fixation and preparation, (2) Passive lipid removal, (3) Immuno-labeling, (4) Optical clearing, (5) Imaging, (6) 3D visualization and quantification.
1 Q&A 10778 Views Oct 20, 2018
Tissue clearing techniques are useful for large-scale three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of thick tissues. However, high-resolution imaging deep inside tissues has been challenging, as it is extremely sensitive to light scattering and spherical aberrations. Here, we present a water-based optical clearing and mounting media, SeeDB2, which is designed for high numerical aperture (NA) objective lenses with oil or glycerol immersion. Using quick and simple soaking procedures, the refractive indices of samples can be matched either to that of immersion oil (1.52) or glycerol (1.46), thus minimizing light scattering and spherical aberrations. Fine morphology and various fluorescent proteins are highly preserved during the clearing and imaging process. Our method is useful for the three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of neuronal circuitry at synaptic resolution using confocal and super-resolution microscopy. SeeDB2 is also useful as a mounting media for the super-resolution imaging of fluorescent proteins.

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