Mapping remodeling of thalamocortical projections in the living reeler mouse brain by diffusion tractography

Laura Adela Harsan*, Csaba Dávid, Marco Reisert, Susanne Schnell, Jürgen Hennig, Dominik Von Elverfeldt, Jochen F. Staiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Amajor challenge in neuroscience is to accurately decipher in vivo the entire brain circuitry (connectome) at a microscopic level. Currently, the only methodology providing a global noninvasive window into structural brain connectivity is diffusion tractography. The extent to which the reconstructed pathways reflect realistic neuronal networks depends, however, on data acquisition and postprocessing factors. Through a unique combination of approaches, we designed and evaluated herein a framework for reliable fiber tracking and mapping of the living mouse brain connectome. One important wiring scheme, connecting gray matter regions and passing fibercrossing areas, was closely examined: the lemniscal thalamocortical (TC) pathway. We quantitatively validated the TC projections inferred from in vivo tractography with correlative histological axonal tracing in the same wild-type and reeler mutant mice. We demonstrated noninvasively that changes in patterningof the cortical sheet, such as highly disorganized cortical lamination in reeler, led to spectacular compensatory remodeling of the TC pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1797-E1806
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 7 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain developmental plasticity
  • Fiber tracking validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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