Scientists Map Diaphragm’s Motor Nerve and Arteriolar Networks With Neurolucida


Image adapted from “Neurovascular proximity in the diaphragm muscle of adult mice,” published with permission from Dr. S. Segal

A 3D model of a mouse diaphragm appears on the monitor. Blood vessels branch out from entry points around the muscle’s periphery, engaging in a graceful choreography with the nerve fibers that radiate from its center.

Could these two networks work together to ensure healthy blood and oxygen flow to the muscle? Or do they exist independently of each other, house mates living side by side within the confines of the diaphragm? Dr. Diego Correa and Dr. Steven Segal set out to test the hypothesis that the motor innervation and blood supply of the diaphragm muscle are physically associated.

“We used Neurolucida to map entire arteriolar networks together with entire motor nerve networks of the diaphragm muscle in adult mice,” explained Dr. Segal in an email.

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