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Intracerebral Injections and Ultrastructural Analysis of High-Pressure Frozen Brain Tissue

Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2017 Jan 3;78:2.27.1-2.27.18. doi: 10.1002/cpns.22.

Authors/Editors: Weil MT, Ruhwedel T, Möbius W, Simons M.
Publication Date: 2017



Intracerebral injections are an invasive method to bypass the blood brain barrier and are widely used to study molecular and cellular mechanisms of the central nervous system. The administered substances are injected directly at the site of interest, executing their effect locally. By combining injections in the rat brain with state-of-the-art electron microscopy, subtle changes in ultrastructure of the nervous tissue can be detected prior to overt damage or disease. The protocol presented here involves stereotactic injection into the corpus callosum of Lewis rats and the cryopreparation of freshly dissected tissue for electron microscopy. The localization of the injection site in tissue sections during the sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy is explained and possible artifacts of the method are indicated. With the help of this powerful combination of injections and electron microscopy, subtle effects of the applied substances on the biology of neural cells can be identified and monitored over time.

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