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Radtke-Schuller, Susanne; Schuller, Gerd; Angenstein, Frank; Grosser, Oliver S.; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Budinger, Eike (2016): Brain atlas of the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) in CT/MRI-aided stereotaxic coordinates. In: Brain Structure & Function, Vol. 221: pp. 1-272
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A new stereotaxic brain atlas of the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), an important animal model in neurosciences, is presented. It combines high-quality histological material for identification of brain structures with reliable stereotaxic coordinates. The atlas consists of high-resolution images of frontal sections alternately stained for cell bodies (Nissl) and myelinated fibers (Gallyas) of 62 rostro-caudal levels at intervals of 350 mu m. Brain structures were named according to the Paxinos nomenclature for rodents. The accuracy of the stereotaxic coordinate system was improved substantially by comparing and matching the series of histological sections to in vivo brain images of the gerbil obtained by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The skull outlines corresponding to the MR images were acquired using X-ray computerized tomography (CT) and were used to establish the relationship between coordinates of brain structures and skull. Landmarks such as lambda, bregma, ear canals and occipital crest can be used to line up skull and brain in standard atlas coordinates. An easily reproducible protocol allows sectioning of experimental brains in the standard frontal plane of the atlas.