A high-resolution large area serotonin map of a live rat brain section

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We employ three-photon microscopy to produce a high-resolution map of serotonin autofluorescence in a rat midbrain section (covering more than half of the brain), to quantitatively characterize serotonin distribution and release in different areas of a live brain slice. The map consists of a tiling of ∼160 contiguous optical images (covering an area of ∼27 mm2 with sub-μm resolution in 20 min), and is recorded before and after inducing depolarization. We observe that the total serotonin exocytosed from the somata in the raphe is quantitatively comparable with regions containing a high density of serotonergic processes. Our results demonstrate that high-resolution, wide-area, dynamic neurotransmitter mapping is now possible.

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