Scientists have created a three-dimensional reconstruction of the intracardiac nervous system of the rat to reflect anatomical position and molecular phenotype of neurons. To generate the Atlas combined two methods: scanning microscopy with a diamond blade for anatomical reconstruction and laser spectacular Microdissection for the analysis of gene expression in individual cells. The authors of the work published in the journal iScience, note that the developed technique can be used on other organs and animals.
In recent years there are more atlases of the brain of mammals: three-dimensional, interactive, with resolution up to hotel cells and an indication of the molecular phenotypes of neurons. However, its own nervous apparatus and there are other organs such as the intestines or heart, and for them such detailed reconstructions do not exist.
The heart has its own Autonomous conducting system that sets the heart rate and coordinating the contraction of different departments. In addition, heart receives signals from the Central nervous system, and locally the work of this body regulates the intracardiac nervous system. Functional organization of the last poorly studied; exact location of neurons with different phenotypes is not mapped.
Scientists from the United States under the leadership of James schwaber will be held (James Schwaber) from Thomas Jefferson University have combined two approaches for creating three-dimensional Atlas of the intracardiac nervous system of rats. The reconstruction of the 3D structure of the heart at the cellular (neuronal) level has been performed using scanning microscopy using a diamond knife. This technology allows to obtain images of fresh slices right off the blade, then the two-dimensional images can be combined into a three-dimensional diagram.