An Adapted Spinal Cord Imaging Method in Freely Behaving Mice Using the Miniaturized Two-photon Microscopy


Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province (2018B030331001 LW), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017413 PW), and Shenzhen Government Basic Research Grants (JCYJ20170411140807570 PW)

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    The spinal cord connects the brain to the peripheral nervous systemand plays an important role in encoding downstream brain commands and peripheral input signals during somatosensory and motor processes. Resolving the relationship between animal behavior and spinal cord neural activity through optical imaging remains a major challenge in neuroscience research. We have developed a method for in vivo imaging of the spinal cord in freely behaving mice using miniaturized two-photon fluorescence microscopy. The image quality and imaging stability of the method were evaluated by imaging the anterior spinal artery vessels, during spontaneous behavior and strenuous movements of freely behaving animals in an unrestrained environment. This physically solves the key problems in previous studies, such as image bias and loss due to the irregular motion of the spinal cord, and it achieves stable imaging of the spinal cordinfreely behaving mice based on miniaturized two-photon fluorescence microscopy. In addition, this method enables real-time imaging of individual neuronal calcium signals in the superficial neuronal activity of the spinal dorsal horn. This will provide technical support to explore the neuronal activity patterns in the spinal cord during somatosensory and motor processes, it’s important for advancing the study of spinal cordrelated functional neural networks.

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YI Wenling, JU Furong, WANG Liping, WEI Pengfei. An Adapted Spinal Cord Imaging Method in Freely Behaving Mice Using the Miniaturized Two-photon Microscopy[J]. Journal of Integration Technology,2021,10(6):97-110

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  • Online: November 17,2021
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