Neuronal Tracers

Selection of tracers for visualizing anatomical connections of the nervous system

Use neuronal tracers to elucidate anatomical connections of the nervous system:

  • Determine cells of origin of axons that innervate a certain structure
  • Identify the target of axonal projections from a particular neuron

Vector Laboratories offers you reagents for both retrograde (from axon to the soma ) and anterograde (from the soma to the axon) tracing.

Conjugated Biotinylated Dextrans — ~10,000 MW anterograde tracers conjugated with either fluorescein or Texas Red®:

  • Deliver to cells by iontophoretic or pressure injection methods
  • Examine the injection site easily with a fluorescent microscope
  • Visualize details of labeled fibers and terminals after VECTASTAIN® ABC Peroxidase Kit and substrate (DAB, Vector® SG, Vector® VIP, or Vector® NovaRED) development
  • Use in double labeling protocols with anterograde or retrograde HRP labeling
  • Combine with immunohistochemistry for other biomarkers

NEUROBIOTIN™ Tracers  designed for neuronal tracing and cell filling:

  • Visualize neural architecture and identify gap junction coupling in vivo or in whole mounts, slice preparations, or cultured cells
  • Deliver to cells by intracellular electrodes, microinjection, cut-loading, or scrape-loading
  • Detect the biotin label using avidin or streptavidin systems, with either chromogenic or fluorescence visualization methods

The NEUROBIOTIN™ Tracer offers several advantages over biocytin and other neuronal labels:

  • Better solubility
  • More efficiently iontophoresed
  • Remains in cell longer
  • Non-toxic
  • Can be fixed with formalin or glutaraldehyde
Dendritic spines, 4h post-labeling with NEUROBIOTIN Plus. Image kindly provided by Dr Judith Schweimer, Dept of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, U.K.
Fast-spiking interneurons of mouse brain striatum filled with NEUROBIOTIN 488. From Russo G, Nieus TR, Maggi S, and Taverna S. 2013. Dynamics of action potential firing in electrically connected striatal fast-spiking interneurons. Front. Cell. Neurosci. 7:209. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00209