SCAMPR, a single-cell automated multiplex pipeline for RNA quantification and spatial mapping.
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Spatial gene expression, achieved classically through in situ hybridization, is a fundamental tool for topographic phenotyping of cell types in the nervous system. Newly developed techniques allow for visualization of multiple mRNAs at single-cell resolution and greatly expand the ability to link gene expression to tissue topography, yet there are challenges in efficient quantification and analysis of these high-dimensional datasets. We have therefore developed the single-cell automated multiplex pipeline for RNA (SCAMPR), facilitating rapid and accurate segmentation of neuronal cell bodies using a dual immunohistochemistry-RNAscope protocol and quantification of low- and high-abundance mRNA signals using open-source image processing and automated segmentation tools. Proof of principle using SCAMPR focused on spatial mapping of gene expression by peripheral (vagal nodose) and central (visual cortex) neurons. The analytical effectiveness of SCAMPR is demonstrated by identifying the impact of early life stress on gene expression in vagal neuron subtypes.


Spatial Transcriptomics
in situ hybridization
neuronal topography
quantitative analysis
spatial mapping
spatial transcriptomics

MeSH terms

RNA, Messenger
In Situ Hybridization


Ali Marandi Ghoddousi, Ramin
Magalong, Valerie M
Kamitakahara, Anna K
Levitt, Pat