Nuclear Techniques ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (7): 70101-070101.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2020.hjs.43.070101


3D imaging of rat brain neural network using synchrotron radiation

Shuntong KANG,Tong WU,Zhuohui CHEN,Mengqi ZHANG()   

  1. Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China
  • Received:2020-02-27 Revised:2020-04-10 Online:2020-07-15 Published:2020-07-16
  • Contact: Mengqi ZHANG
  • About author:KANG Shuntong, female, born in 1999, student of eight-year program of clinical medicine in Xiangya Hospital of Central South University
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(81501025);Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province(2020JJ4134)

Abstract: Background

Synchrotron radiation technology has a wide application prospect. X-ray absorption contrast imaging can not only obtain the three-dimensional (3D) morphological structure of neurons, but also improve the effective spatial resolution of detection, which meets the requirements of micro-neural network imaging research. It is feasible and effective to construct high-resolution 3D visualization network of brain neural network when combined with Golgi-Cox staining.


This study aims to explore the application of synchrotron radiation absorption contrast imaging technology in the observation of 3D imaging of Golgi-Cox-stained mouse brain micro-neural network.


Twelve normal C57 mice were randomly divided into two groups, A and B, and perfused with brain tissue. Group A was treated without staining. The brains of group B were stained with Golgi-Cox and dehydrated in gradient ethanol. Specimens were scanned for absorption contrast imaging at X-ray imaging and biomedical application beam line station (BL13W1) in Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF), and data processing was performed by using software such as Amira.


The imaging results show that both the cerebellar neural network structure and single neuron morphology in mouse are accurately presented. X-ray absorption contrast imaging technology, as an advanced three-dimensional rendering method of microscopic neural network, provides a new three-dimensional visualization method for morphological research of mouse brain neurons.


Synchrotron radiation can achieve high-precision 3D neuroimaging, which overcomes the disadvantages of traditional staining 2D histology, such as the damage of sections to specimens. This method combined with Golgi-Cox staining, can be used for the construction of regional neural networks and non-destructive research on the integrity of the brain.

Key words: Synchrotron radiation, X-ray absorption contrast imaging, Golgi-Cox staining, Micro-neural network, Three-dimensional

CLC Number: 

  • TL99