Published: June 30th, 2016
Optical clearing techniques are revolutionizing the way tissues are visualized. In this report we describe modifications of the original Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamide-hybridized Rigid Imaging-compatible Tissue-hYdrogel (CLARITY) protocol that yields more consistent and less expensive results.
Traditionally, tissue visualization has required that the tissue of interest be serially sectioned and imaged, subjecting each tissue section to unique non-linear deformations, dramatically hampering one's ability to evaluate cellular morphology, distribution and connectivity in the central nervous system (CNS). However, optical clearing techniques are changing the way tissues are visualized. These approaches permit one to probe deeply into intact organ preparations, providing tremendous insight into the structural organization of tissues in health and disease. Techniques such as Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamide-hybridized Rigid Imaging-compatible Tissue-hYdrogel (CLARITY) achieve this goal by providing a matrix that binds important biomolecules while permitting light-scattering lipids to freely diffuse out. Lipid removal, followed by refractive index matching, renders the tissue transparent and readily imaged in 3 dimensions (3D). Nevertheless, the electrophoretic tissue clearing (ETC) used in the original CLARITY protocol can be challenging to implement successfully and the use of a proprietary refraction index matching solution makes it expensive to use the technique routinely. This report demonstrates the implementation of a simple and inexpensive optical clearing protocol that combines passive CLARITY for improved tissue integrity and 2,2′-thiodiethanol (TDE), a previously described refractive index matching solution.
The ability to image complete neuroanatomical structures is immensely valuable for understanding the brain in health and disease. Traditionally, 3D imaging has required tissue sectioning to provide the axial resolution and to visualize deep anatomical structures. This approach can produce high-resolution data sets, but requires sophisticated image reconstruction techniques and is very labor intensive. As a result, it has been limited to the imaging of small volumes of tissue1-3. Optical sectioning, on the other hand, is well suited for the creation of high-resolution 3D images of fluorescently labeled tissues. Since optical sectioning is inherently three di....
All experiments were performed in accordance with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) guidelines. THY1-YFP, PLP-EGFP and PV-TdTomato mice were used for these experiments, but any mice expressing fluorescent proteins can be successfully cleared and imaged.
1. Tissue Preparation
Caution: Paraformaldehyde (PFA) and acrylamide are toxic and irritants. Perform experiments utilizing these reagents in a fume hood and with appropriate personal protective equip.......
Visualizing the structural organization of the brain is critical for understanding how morphology and connectivity affect brain function in health and disease. Optical clearing techniques make it possible to image cell populations in 3D in intact tissues, allowing us to study morphology and connectivity cohesively.
Mice that express fluorescent proteins driven by promoters specific for sub-populations of cells permit one to teas.......
Passive clearing of hydrogel embedded tissues (passive CLARITY) is a simple and inexpensive method for clearing large pieces of tissue. This approach does not require dedicated equipment and can easily be performed in a temperature-controlled shaker. Over the span of a few weeks, even large, highly myelinated tissues, such as an entire brain or spinal cord, will become transparent and suitable for microscopy. Even though this report has focused on the clearing of CNS tissues, passive CLARITY can be applied to any tissue........
This work was generously supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS) grant 1R01NS086981 and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. We thank Dr. Laurent Bentolila and Dr. Matthew Schibler for their invaluable assistance with confocal microscopy. We thank those that have contributed to the CLARITY forum (http://forum.claritytechniques.org). We especially thank Dr. Karl Deisseroth for opening up his lab to teach this fascinating technique. The authors are grateful for the generous support from the Brain Mapping Medical Research Organization, Brain Mapping Support Foundation, Pierson-Lovelace Foundation, The....
|10X phosphate buffered saline (PBS)
|32% paraformaldehyde (PFA)
|Electron Microscopy Sciences
|perfusion and hydrogel
|refractive index matching solution
|Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd.
|sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)
|glass bottom dish
|World Precision Instruments
|mouse brain matrix
|laser scanning confocal microscope
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