Preparation of an awake mouse for recording neural responses and injecting tracers

Michael A. Muniak, Zachary M. Mayko, David K. Ryugo, Christine V. Portfors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is well known that anesthesia alters neural response properties in various regions of the brain. 13. In the auditory system, fundamental response properties of brainstem neurons including threshold, frequency specificity, and inhibitory sidebands are altered in significant ways under anesthesia 1-2. These observations prompted physiologists to seek ways to record from single neurons without the contaminating effects of anesthesia. One result was a decerebrate preparation, where the brainstem was completely transected at the level of the midbrain 4. The drawbacks of this preparation are a formidable surgery, the elimination of descending projections from the forebrain, and an inability to use sensory stimulation to examine structures above the midbrain. A different strategy has been to implant electrode arrays chronically to record from single neurons and multiunit clusters while the animal is awake and/or behaving 5,6. These techniques however are not compatible with injecting tracer dyes after first electrophysiologically characterizing a brain structure. To avoid altering neural response properties with anesthetics while recording electrophysiological response properties from single neurons, we have adapted a head restraint technique long used in bats 7-9 to mouse 10-12. Using this method, we are able to conduct electrophysiological recordings over several days in the unanesthetized mouse. At the end of the recording sessions, we can then inject a dye to reconstruct electrode positions and recording sites or inject a tracer so that pathways to and from the recording loci can be determined. This method allows for well isolated single neuron recordings over multiple days without the use anesthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3755
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number64
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 26 2012

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Keywords

  • Auditory system
  • Brain
  • Dye injections
  • Electrophysiology
  • Issue 64
  • Mouse
  • Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Recordings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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