Section of Electron Microscopy


Support for electron microscopy
Functional architecture of cortical microcircuit

【Support for electron microscopy】
Ultrastructures of tissues, cells and macromolecules are observed using transmission or scanning electron microscopes (JEOL JEM1010, Hitachi HT-7700, Zeiss Σ IGMA). The facility also provides instruments for their specimen preparations, i.e. ultra-microtome (Leica UC7), high-pressure freezing device (BAL-TEC HPM010), freeze fracture and replica machine (BAL-TEC BAF060), vacuum evaporator (JEOL JEE-420), ion coater (JEC-3000FC), etc. Since 2013, Serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM; Gatan 3view/Zeiss Σ IGMA/VP & MARLIN) and Array tomography SEM system (Zeiss ATLAS5) have been operated to reveal 3D structures of biological thick specimens. The three-dimensional reconstitution of cellular ultra-structures is performed using image analysis software. In particular, the SBF-SEMs are used for many collaborative projects.

【Functional architecture of cortical microcircuit】
How the cerebral cortex processes complex information is still unknown. Our laboratory is elucidating the fundamental rules that govern cortical microcircuits, such as cell diversity and functional connectivity, using modern physiological, anatomical and molecular methods. We focus on the primary and secondary motor cortices and use a wide variety of experimental techniques such as in vivo imaging, immunohistochemistry, correlated light and electron microscopy, and a large-volume electron micrographic data analysis. We are also interested in learning and memory and associated rewiring in cortical microcircuits. We analyze neocortical local circuits and brain system circuits to understand the functional role of each neuron type and layered structure in cortex, and various functions of projections from the motor cortex to the sensory cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum.


Fig. 1  Serial block-face SEM( SBF-SEM) Gatan 3view - Zeiss Σ IGMA/VP



Fig. 2  Transmission electron microscope (TEM) JEOLJEM1010 equipped with 2kx2k CCD camera

Selected publications

*Kubota et al. Nature Communications, 9: 437 (2018)
*Sohn et al. Science Advances, 8 (39):eabm0531 (2022)