Post #4: Perfusions

One needs to preserve brain tissue and cells in order to see neurons. To do this, we perfuse the mouse. A perfusion runs preservative solution through the mouse in order to keep the integrity of the brain cells as the tissue undergoes sectioning and immunocytochemistry. We run a solution called Zamboni’s fixative through the mouse to preserve tissue.  Although commonly  used for electron microscopy, Zamboni’s fixative is  a good general purpose fixative useful in preserving the brain tissue that we are examining. Zamboni, as we call it, is a phosphate buffered combination of paraformaldehyde and picric acid. It stabilizes cellular proteins without being destroyed by tissue fluids.

[Read more…]