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Facility of Mapping Brain-wide Mesoscale Connectome


The Facility of Mapping Brain-wide Mesoscale Connectome of ION was established in 2018 for studying the brain-wide mesoscale projectome and connectome of larval zebrafish, mice and non-human primates. It is located in 320 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai, China.

Mapping brain-wide connectome is essential and fundamental for understanding how the brain works. Brain-wide connectivity can be revealed at macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic levels. The mesoscale connectome requires a comprehensive understanding of the cell type composition of different brain regions and of the connections between all the neuronal types across these regions. We first choose zebrafish as the model for comprehensively mapping mesoscale connectome. The larval zebrafish brain at six days post-fertilization (6 dpf) has a size of < 0.3 mm3, contains an estimated 105 neurons while possesses the conserved brain anatomy and neuronal cell types and the fish at this stage are optically transparent and capable of diverse behaviors, making it an excellent and the only model right now for fully mapping mesoscale connectome at brain-wide scale. Using multiple genetic and viral labeling tools and whole-brain live optical imaging, we aim to first build a cellular-resolution mesoscale projectome for larval zebrafish brain and then the structural and functional mesoscale connectome and finally to map function to structure in this intact vertebrate brain.

Techniques in use and under development:
1) Binary systems-based transgenic tools for labeling different neuronal cell types;
2) Sparse labeling of specific neuronal cell types;
3) Transsynaptic viral tracer for circuit tracing;
4) Whole-brain live imaging of larval zebrafish;
5) Semiautomatic or automatic reconstruction of neuronal morphology and circuit ;
6) Data registration and analysis


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