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Building an open access three-dimensional atlas of metals in the mouse brain ES2014/027 (Clive & Vera Ramaciotti Foundation)

Project Member(s): Hare, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation (Ramaciotti Foundation Grant funding)

Start year: 2015

Summary: The brain is the most complex organ in the body. Over 200 individual anatomical regions govern all our executive functions and most physiological processes through a vast ┬┐connectome┬┐ of neural circuitry. Neuroscientists have long relied on anatomical maps of the brain to navigate through the brains structural hierarchy. Recent technological advances have extended atlases from structure to function, where individual gene expression within each anatomical region is now at the fingertips of researchers through interactive online databases. These resources allow neuroscientists to directly relate specific regions to the genes that produce biophysical responses. Brain function is dictated by chemical reactions, reactions that are often mediated by metals. The brain contains the highest concentrations of metals in the body, inhomogenously distributed throughout the different anatomical regions. Numerous neurological disorders, including Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease exhibit a disturbance in brain metal levels that directly contributes to disease pathology. This project will establish construction of the first fully quantitative atlas of metals in the mouse brain, and begin to integrate this information with the Allen Atlas Project, adding regional metal levels to the existing genomic and anatomical reference data. Designed to be an open access resource, this atlas will provide researchers with a new tool for studying the role of metals in neurodegeneration.


Hare, DJ, New, EJ, de Jonge, MD & McColl, G 2015, 'Imaging metals in biology: balancing sensitivity, selectivity and spatial resolution', Chemical Society Reviews, vol. 44, no. 17, pp. 5941-5958.
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FOR Codes: Central Nervous System, Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences, Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences, Analytical Spectrometry, Central nervous system