A three-dimensional single-cell-resolution mammalian brain atlas will accelerate systems-level identification and analysis of cellular circuits underlying various brain functions. However, its construction requires efficient subcellular-resolution imaging throughout the entire brain. To address this challenge, we developed a fluorescent-protein-compatible, whole-organ clearing and homogeneous expansion protocol based on an aqueous chemical solution (CUBIC-X). The expanded, well-cleared brain enabled us to construct a point-based mouse brain atlas with single-cell annotation (CUBIC-Atlas). CUBIC-Atlas reflects inhomogeneous whole-brain development, revealing a significant decrease in the cerebral visual and somatosensory cortical areas during postnatal development. Probabilistic activity mapping of pharmacologically stimulated Arc-dVenus reporter mouse brains onto CUBIC-Atlas revealed the existence of distinct functional structures in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. CUBIC-Atlas is shareable by an open-source web-based viewer, providing a new platform for whole-brain cell profiling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas