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Biology

A Technique for Serial Collection of Cerebrospinal Fluid from the Cisterna Magna in Mouse

Published: November 10th, 2008

DOI:

10.3791/960

1Department of Pathology, Columbia University

Transgenic (Tg) mouse models of AD provide an excellent opportunity to investigate how and why Aβ or tau levels in CSF change as the disease progresses in human patients. Here, we demonstrate a refined cisterna magna puncture technique for serial CSF sampling from the mouse.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is pathologically characterized by extracellular deposition of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) and intraneuronal accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Because cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is in direct contact with the extracellular space of the brain, it provides a reflection of the biochemical changes in the brain in response to pathological processes. CSF from AD patients shows a decrease in the 42 amino-acid form of Aβ (Aβ42), and increases in total tau and hyperphosphorylated tau, though the mechanisms responsible for these changes are still not fully understood. Transgenic (Tg) mouse models of AD provide an excellent opportunity to investigate how and why Aβ or tau levels in CSF change as the disease progresses. Here, we demonstrate a refined cisterna magna puncture technique for CSF sampling from the mouse. This extremely gentle sampling technique allows serial CSF samples to be obtained from the same mouse at 2-3 month intervals which greatly minimizes the confounding effect of between-mouse variability in Aβ or tau levels, making it possible to detect subtle alterations over time. In combination with Aβ and tau ELISA, this technique will be useful for studies designed to investigate the relationship between the levels of CSF Aβ42 and tau, and their metabolism in the brain in AD mouse models. Studies in Tg mice could provide important validation as to the potential of CSF Aβ or tau levels to be used as biological markers for monitoring disease progression, and to monitor the effect of therapeutic interventions. As the mice can be sacrificed and the brains can be examined for biochemical or histological changes, the mechanisms underlying the CSF changes can be better assessed. These data are likely to be informative for interpretation of human AD CSF changes.

Pulling the glass capillary tube

  1. The glass capillary tube is purchased from The Sutter Instrument Inc (Borosilicate glass, B100-75-10).
  2. Pull the capillary tubes on a Sutter P-87 Flaming micropipette puller, with the heat index set at 300 and the pressure index set at 330.
  3. Trim the tip of the glass capillary tube with scissors, so that the tapered tip has an inner diameter of about 0.5 mm.

Cisterna magna puncture technique for CSF.......

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We described a highly reliable protocol for serial sampling of CSF from mice without detectable plasma contamination.

1. The whole procedure usually takes 10 min per mouse (including anesthesia). The volume of CSF obtained is dependent on the mouse strains. In the PS/APP double Tg mice we used2, the average volume is about 5 μl (3 to 7 μl), while the P301L (JNPL3) mice 3 give a yield of about 10 μl- 15 μl. For serial sampling, a maximum of 7-8 μl can be safely taken.......

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Our work is supported by NIH grants NS048447 and AG017216to KD. Li Liu would like to thank Dr. Heikki Tanila (University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland) for his supervision and support during the development of the original protocol.

....

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