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Neuron development visualised with imaging software

A group led by Professor Markus Missler at the University of Münster has used Bitplane’s advanced Imaris image analysis software in its study of differentiation of synapses. The group showed that the loss of the protein ‘neurobeachin’ (Nbea) not only disrupts signalling within the neuron but also leads to reduced numbers of spines and the mislocalisation of another common spine protein, synaptopodin.

Dr Katharina Niesmann of Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster used cultured primary nerve cells from the hippocampus of mouse brains for the study. Multicolour labelling followed by observation under epifluorescence and confocal light microscopy enabled the team to study the differentiation of synapses between these cells and observe the effect of Nbea.

‘These findings were both unexpected and striking,’ according to Professor Missler. ‘Therefore, we looked for a way of visualising this data in a comprehensive way. We found the ‘ImarisFilamentTracer’ module of the Imaris suite, which was specifically developed for the purpose of analysing and illustrating dendrites as well as spines, invaluable.’

Fast, precise and easy-to-use, Imaris is a powerful and versatile solution for the visualisation, analysis and interpretation of 3D and 4D images. ImarisFilamentTracer is one of a range of several specialist modules, including ImarisTrack, ImaricVantage and ImarisMeasurementPro, that deliver additional flexibility.

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