Evaluation of microvasculature at the auditory midbrain-the benefits of sectioning at a tangential angle

Edmund Cheung So, Hui Pin Lu, Chung Hsi Hsing, Sheng Nan Wu, Yu Kai Chang, Paul W.F. Poon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular remodeling in the brain occurs as a plastic change following neural over-activity. The auditory midbrain (or inferior colliculus, IC) is an ideal place to study sound-induced vascular changes because it is the brain's most vascularized structure and it is tonotopically organized. However, its micro-vascular pattern remains poorly understood. Since the IC is a sphere-like structure, the histological assessment of vasculature could depend on the angle of sectioning. Here, we studied the effects of cutting the IC at different angles on microvascular assessment, specifically: micro-vascular density and the shape of microvascular lumen. Photomicrographs were taken from 5 μm toluidine blue-stained histological sections obtained at two angles of sectioning: (a) the conventional coronal sectioning, and (b) a novel "tangential" sectioning (tangential to the dorso-medial surface of the IC). Results showed that the tangential sections, in comparison with the coronal sections, yielded (a) a higher count of micro-vascular density and (b) a higher proportion of round-shaped micro-vascular lumens. This discrepancy in results between two cut angles is likely related to the spatial pattern of blood vessels supplying the IC. We propose that the tangential sectioning should be adopted as standard for the accurate study of microvasculature in the IC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional capillaries
  • Histology sectioning
  • Inferior colliculus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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