Three-photon imaging of synthetic dyes in deep layers of the neocortex


Chao J Liu, Arani Roy, Anthony A Simons, Deano M Farinella, and Prakash Kara. 2020. “Three-photon imaging of synthetic dyes in deep layers of the neocortex.” Sci Rep, 10, 1, Pp. 16351.


Multiphoton microscopy has emerged as the primary imaging tool for studying the structural and functional dynamics of neural circuits in brain tissue, which is highly scattering to light. Recently, three-photon microscopy has enabled high-resolution fluorescence imaging of neurons in deeper brain areas that lie beyond the reach of conventional two-photon microscopy, which is typically limited to ~ 450 µm. Three-photon imaging of neuronal calcium signals, through the genetically-encoded calcium indicator GCaMP6, has been used to successfully record neuronal activity in deeper neocortical layers and parts of the hippocampus in rodents. Bulk-loading cells in deeper cortical layers with synthetic calcium indicators could provide an alternative strategy for labelling that obviates dependence on viral tropism and promoter penetration, particularly in non-rodent species. Here we report a strategy for visualized injection of a calcium dye, Oregon Green BAPTA-1 AM (OGB-1 AM), at 500-600 µm below the surface of the mouse visual cortex in vivo. We demonstrate successful OGB-1 AM loading of cells in cortical layers 5-6 and subsequent three-photon imaging of orientation- and direction- selective visual responses from these cells.