The branches of a dendrite extend gracefully across the computer screen. Circles of florescent fuchsia and violet hover near the branch surfaces like colorful confetti. So much more than just a pretty picture, this superb image depicts some of the tiniest elements of a neuron, its dendritic spines.
Scientists studying neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease require detailed information about the central nervous system to carry out their research. With the release AutoSpine by MBF Bioscience, scientists can access more information than ever before.
AutoSpine lets researchers easily identify and count a neuron’s dendritic spines. Using images of dendritic branches obtained from Neurolucida® and AutoNeuron®, AutoSpine offers an accurate assessment of the population and position of the hundreds to thousands of spines that protrude from the dendritic branches of a neuron. Once the spines have been identified, AutoSpine helps facilitate a variety of analyses. With AutoSpine, scientists can determine the number of spines along a dendritic branch, the density of the spines, the spine head volume, and the distance from the spine head to the dendritic branch. Scholl analysis and spine classification can also be performed.
“For the first time, researchers have access to fast, accurate, automated quantification of dendritic spines. We expect this will be a powerful tool for researchers investigating anatomical aspects of important neurological diseases,” said MBF Bioscience President Jack Glaser.
Watch our Instructional Webinar “Automatic Interactive Neuron Tracing and Dendritic Spine Detection” led by staff scientist Susan Hendricks, Ph.D., and Vice President of Research Jeff Sprenger, to learn more about how AutoSpine works.