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Nanoscale structural mapping as a measure of maturation in the murine frontal cortex

Abstract : Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is emerging as an innovative tool to phenotype the brain. This study demonstrates the utility of AFM to determine nanome-chanical and nanostructural features of the murine dorso-lateral frontal cortex from weaning to adulthood. We found an increase in tissue stiffness of the primary somatosensory cortex with age, along with an increased cortical mechanical heterogeneity. To characterize the features potentially responsible for this heterogeneity, we applied AFM scan mode to directly image the topography of thin sections of the primary somatosensory cortical layers II/III, IV and V/VI. Topographical mapping of the cortical layers at successive ages showed progressive smoothing of the surface. Topographical images were also compared with his-tochemically derived morphological information, which demonstrated the deposition of perineuronal nets, important extracellular components and markers of maturity. Our work demonstrates that high-resolution AFM images can be used to determine the nanostructural properties of cor-tical maturation, well beyond embryonic and postnatal development. Furthermore, it may offer a new method for brain phenotyping and screening to uncover topographical changes in early stages of neurodegenerative diseases.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 6:42:34 PM
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Georgiy Smolyakov, Etienne Dague, Clément Roux, M. H Seguelas, C. Galés, et al.. Nanoscale structural mapping as a measure of maturation in the murine frontal cortex. Brain Structure and Function, Springer Verlag, 2018, 223 (1), pp.255-265. ⟨10.1007/s00429-017-1486-z⟩. ⟨hal-01907682⟩



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