DOI: 10.1101/460618Nov 3, 2018Paper

Dense connectomic reconstruction in layer 4 of the somatosensory cortex

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alessandro MottaMoritz Helmstaedter


The dense circuit structure of the mammalian cerebral cortex is still unknown. With developments in 3-dimensional (3D) electron microscopy, the imaging of sizeable volumes of neuropil has become possible, but dense reconstruction of connectomes from such image data is the limiting step. Here, we report the dense reconstruction of a volume of about 500,000 µm3 from layer 4 of mouse barrel cortex, about 300 times larger than previous dense reconstructions from the mammalian cerebral cortex. Using a novel reconstruction technique, FocusEM, we were able to reconstruct a total of 0.9 meters of dendrites and about 1.8 meters of axons investing only about 4,000 human work hours, about 10-25 times more efficient than previous dense circuit reconstructions. We find that connectomic data alone allows the definition of inhibitory axon types that show established principles of synaptic specificity for subcellular postsynaptic compartments. We find that also a fraction of excitatory axons exhibit such subcellular target specificity. Only about 35% of inhibitory and 55% of excitatory synaptic subcellular innervation can be predicted from the geometrical availability of membrane surface, revoking coarser models of random wiring for synaptic c...Continue Reading

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