In vivo wide-field imaging of neural activity with a high spatio-temporal resolution is a challenge in modern neuroscience. Although two-photon imaging is very powerful, high-speed imaging of the activity of individual synapses is mostly limited to a field of approximately 200 μm on a side. Wide-field one-photon epifluorescence imaging can reveal neuronal activity over a field of ≥1 mm2 at a high speed, but is not able to resolve a single synapse. Here, to achieve a high spatio-temporal resolution, we combine an 8 K ultra-high-definition camera with spinning-disk one-photon confocal microscopy. This combination allowed us to image a 1 mm2 field with a pixel resolution of 0.21 μm at 60 fps. When we imaged motor cortical layer 1 in a behaving head-restrained mouse, calcium transients were detected in presynaptic boutons of thalamocortical axons sparsely labeled with GCaMP6s, although their density was lower than when two-photon imaging was used. The effects of out-of-focus fluorescence changes on calcium transients in individual boutons appeared minimal. Axonal boutons with highly correlated activity were detected over the 1 mm2 field, and were probably distributed on multiple axonal arbors originating from the same thalamic neuron. This new microscopy with an 8 K ultra-high-definition camera should serve to clarify the activity and plasticity of widely distributed cortical synapses.
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