Using Near-Infrared Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning to Measure Protein Expression in the Rodent Brain

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Neuroscience is the study of how cells in the brain mediate various functions. Measuring protein expression in neurons and glia is critical for the study of neuroscience as cellular function is determined by the composition and activity of cellular proteins. In this article, we describe how immunocytochemistry can be combined with near-infrared high-resolution scanning to provide a semi-quantitative measure of protein expression in distinct brain regions. This technique can be used for single or double protein expression in the same brain region. Measuring proteins in this fashion can be used to obtain a relative change in protein expression with an experimental manipulation, molecular signature of learning and memory, activity in molecular pathways, and neural activity in multiple brain regions. Using the correct proteins and statistical analysis, functional connectivity among brain regions can be determined as well. Given the ease of implementing immunocytochemistry in a laboratory, using immunocytochemistry with near-infrared high-resolution scanning can expand the ability of the neuroscientist to examine neurobiological processes at a systems level.