Mapping of brain activity by automated volume analysis of immediate early genes
Authors listNicolas Renier Eliza L Adams Christoph Kirst Zhuhao Wu Ricardo Azevedo Jonny Kohl Anita E Autry Lolahon Kadiri Kannan Umadevi Venkataraju Yu Zhou Victoria X Wang Cheuk Y Tang Olav Olsen Catherine Dulac Pavel Osten Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Understanding how neural information is processed in physiological and pathological states would benefit from precise detection, localization, and quantification of the activity of all neurons across the entire brain, which has not, to date, been achieved in the mammalian brain. We introduce a pipeline for high-speed acquisition of brain activity at cellular resolution through profiling immediate early gene expression using immunostaining and light-sheet fluorescence imaging, followed by automated mapping and analysis of activity by an open-source software program we term ClearMap. We validate the pipeline first by analysis of brain regions activated in response to haloperidol. Next, we report new cortical regions downstream of whisker-evoked sensory processing during active exploration. Last, we combine activity mapping with axon tracing to uncover new brain regions differentially activated during parenting behavior. This pipeline is widely applicable to different experimental paradigms, including animal species for which transgenic activity reporters are not readily available.