Annotated Autofluorescent Sections

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* Introduction (see below)
* Frontal Sections in progress
* Horizontal Sections
* Sagittal Sections in progress
* Staining Method (see below)

Introduction to Autofluorescent Sections

The co-ordinate system used here approximates the system used previously to describe the brain of Musca domestica (Strausfeld, 1976). Internal markers within the neuropil have been used to provide equidistant grid references along orthogonal x, y, and z axes. Annotated and 'clean' unannotated images are provided. Clicking on the thumbnail image on the index page downloads the 'clean' image. Clicking on the 'section n' text links to a page containing an in-line (low resolution images) accompanied by a textual description. Clicking on the in-line image downloads a larger JPEG compressed one. Images are also available as higher resolution GIF version but these take longer to download.

From a frontal perspective, the x axis runs from left to right, with an origin at the midline. The z axis bisects each frontal section, and the y axis runs anterior to posterior.

The coordinate system adopted for the main Atlas of silver stained sections used X,Y,Z axes that are on the ellipsoid body, a structure easily recognised in most histological preparations.


A detailed method for the technique used will be forthcoming.

a) Top view shows adjustable "blades" of the collar.

b) Frontal shows end stop. This gate closes the entrance to the collar and prevents the animals from slipping from the blades.

Heads were aligned on collars (see above) and the blades adjusted so as to hold them firmly and close together. Heads were opened, fixed, dehydrated and then embedded in paraffin. 7um horizontal sections were cut using a rotary microtome. Sections were then scanned in using a confocal microscope at 1024x1024 resolution.

Scans were then cropped, pseudo colour added and annotated. JPEG is used for all images with 75%compression resulting in files of 70-100k approx. Full resolution GIF images are also available and these vary from 200-440k each.


  1. Heisenberg, M. and Böehl, K. Z.Naturforsch 34c,143-147 (1979)
  2. Jäger, R. and Fischbach, K.-F. DIS 66, 162-165. (1987)
  3. Strausfeld, N. J. Atlas of an Insect Brain. Springer-Verlag (1976)
  4. Ashburner, M. Protocol 112: Mass histology of adult heads. In: Drosophila: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. pp 254-259.

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