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TitleEmploying an open-source tool to assess astrocyte tridimensional structure
Author(s)Tavares, Gabriela Pires
Martins, Manuella Mendes
Correia, Joana Sofia Silva
Sardinha, Vanessa Alexandra Morais
Gomes, Sónia Isabel Nunes Guerra
Neves, Sofia Pereira
Marques, Fernanda
Sousa, Nuno
Oliveira, João F.
Issue date1-May-2017
PublisherSpringer Verlag
JournalBrain Structure and Function
CitationTavares, G., Martins, M., Correia, J. S., Sardinha, V. M., Guerra-Gomes, S., das Neves, S. P., ... & Oliveira, J. F. (2017). Employing an open-source tool to assess astrocyte tridimensional structure. Brain Structure and Function, 222(4), 1989-1999
Abstract(s)Astrocytes display important features that allow them to maintain a close dialog with neurons, ultimately impacting brain function. The complex morphological structure of astrocytes is crucial to the role of astrocytes in brain networks. Therefore, assessing morphologic features of astrocytes will help provide insights into their physiological relevance in healthy and pathological conditions. Currently available tools that allow the tridimensional reconstruction of astrocytes present a number of disadvantages, including the need for advanced computational skills and powerful hardware, and are either time-consuming or costly. In this study, we optimized and validated the FIJI-ImageJ, Simple Neurite Tracer (SNT) plugin, an open-source software that aids in the reconstruction of GFAP-stained structure of astrocytes. We describe (1) the loading of confocal microscopy Z-stacks, (2) the selection criteria, (3) the reconstruction process, and (4) the post-reconstruction analysis of morphological features (process length, number, thickness, and arbor complexity). SNT allows the quantification of astrocyte morphometric parameters in a simple, efficient, and semi-automated manner. While SNT is simple to learn, and does not require advanced computational skills, it provides reproducible results, in different brain regions or pathophysiological states.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals

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