Friday, February 7, 2014

Neuron Images

After a long week, I think we can all use a few pretty brain images. Here are some interneurons (red) in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus (a structure important for learning and memory). These are confocal images at 20x and 60x magnification. They're all z-stacks of 10-14 microns that have been compressed to show all the layers at once (because it's prettier that way).

When I first started optimizing the dilution of the parvalbumin antibody I couldn't figure out what all the stupid speckles were at 20x (more noticeable without the nuclei labeled). It was driving me nuts. Then I started using a better labeling protocol which allowed me to see more detail and I realized, hey, those speckles are at the synapses! So not stupid after all. Parvalbumin is protein that buffers (binds to) calcium in the neuron terminals so duh, Katie, of course the antibody will be found at terminals on other cells.

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