Research press release


Nature Communications

Neuroscience: Visualizing a whole nervous system in action

発生過程にあるショウジョウバエの中枢神経系(CNS)全体にわたる神経活動を把握する方法についての報告が、今週掲載される。今回の研究は、高速顕微鏡と計算ツールを組み合わせた構成を用いることで、キイロショウジョウバエ(Drosophila melanogaster)の幼虫の単離されたCNS全体における神経活動の同時画像化に成功した。


今回、Philipp Kellerたちは、試料調製と神経活動の画像化と画像解析に関して数多くの方法論的改良を導入して、単離されたショウジョウバエ幼虫のCNS全体の画像化を可能にした。Kellerたちはこの方法を用いて、CNS全体の画像化を1秒間に5回行いながら、CNS全体における協調した運動活動のパターンを最長1時間にわたって画像化した。


The capacity to capture the nervous activity of an entire central nervous system (CNS) of a developing fly is reported in Nature Communications this week. A framework that combines high speed microscopy and computational tools enables the simultaneous imaging of neural activity across the entire, isolated larval CNS of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Recent advances in imaging technology such as light-sheet microscopy have enabled high-speed, high-resolution, three-dimensional imaging of large volumes of neural tissue. Thanks to these advances, together with the development of improved technology for detecting neuronal activity from specific cellular populations, it has become possible to record activity from every part of a nervous system while animals perform specific actions. Up to now, however, the technology had not been applied to imaging the entire central nervous system of a relatively large model organism such as the developing fruit fly.

Philipp Keller and colleagues have now introduced a number of methodological improvements in sample preparation, neural activity imaging and image analysis that enabled them to image the entire CNS of the fly larva after it had been isolated. Using this approach, they were able to image coordinated motor activity patterns throughout the CNS for up to an hour, while imaging the entire CNS 5 times per second.

Paired with methods that interfere with neural activity and methods that obtain detailed spatial maps of the structure of the nervous system and its connections, this type of methodology will help advance the understanding of the neuronal networks that dictate animal behaviour.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms8924

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