I'm just starting a project on neuroscience for sixth form. I have had no teaching in this area so had to teach myself entirely.

This is a "low-power image of a transverse section through the telencephalon of an adult pigeon":


I understand the TH means tyrosine hydroxylase but I have no idea what the different colours mean.

Any information would be so helpful :)

thanks very much!


1 Answer 1


They used a stain that marks tyrosine hydroyxylase (most likely using an antibody to TH, followed by a secondary antibody tagged to an enzyme that then produces a dark precipitate in the presence of the proper precursor).

The dark regions are where more antibody bound, so you can infer this is where TH is highest. It's very difficult using these techniques to take anything quantitative from this, but you can use the technique to identify regions and possibly compare between them, given you have an appropriate control region.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much! :) what does the white line mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ @OllyScargill What white line? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ The line up the left side of the image? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 17:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Oh the gap? I'm not super familiar with bird brain morphology but that looks to me like it's a ventricle - it's a place in the tissue slice where there is open space. It might be larger than it would be in the intact brain, because tissue tends to shrink when you fix it, but if it was perfused well there may have been minimal shrinkage. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much Bryan :) You don't know how much you helped me out! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 20:32

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