Connectomic analysis of the nervous system aims to discover and establish principles that underpin normal and abnormal neural connectivity and function. The Ribchester group performed image analysis of motor unit connectivity in the fourth deep lumbrical muscle (4DL) of mice, using transgenic expression of fluorescent protein in motor neurones as a morphological reporter (YFP-H, YFP-16 and CFP). A method was developed that accelerated segmentation of confocal image projections of 4DL motor units, by applying high resolution (63×, 1.4 NA objective) imaging or deconvolution only where either proved necessary, in order to resolve axon crossings that produced ambiguities in the correct assignment of axon terminals to identified motor units imaged at lower optical resolution (40×, 1.3 NA).

See "Segmentation of the mouse fourth deep lumbrical muscle connectome reveals concentric organisation of motor units" Hirst & Ribchester (2013) J. Physiol.

Image: Detail from YFP-16, 19.11-1R "Green-MAX_Fused Red and Green.tif" Richard Ribchester