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Lai Ding: An ImageJ macro to analyze mitochodrial movement along axon


Dynamics of mitochondria and its movement patterns along axons provide insights into the mechanisms that govern mitochondrial distributions in neurons. It also help to understand the nature of neurodegenerative disease since abnormalities in mitochondrial distribution have been observed in many neurodegenerative disease models including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. One obstacles confronting such project was the time consuming process of manually analyzing a large data set. In close collaboration with Tom Schwartz lab in Harvard Medical School, the HNDC optical imaging core staff design a protocol and produced a robust ImageJ macro program that could process the time-lapse data semi-automatically. The features of the software analysis protocol include: 1) image alignment to compensate for time-lapse image drift, 2) kymograph generation based on user defined axon path, and 3) an easy-to-use method for mitochondrial tracking which gives multiple end point values characterizing mitochondrial movement pattern along the axons. The newly developed image analysis protocol greatly reduces the processing time and improves measurement accuracy.


kymograph, mitochondrial, tracking, axon, neuron,

Administrative data

Presenting author: Lai Ding
Organisation: Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center

co-authors: Gulcin Pekkurnaz

Michelle Cronin

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