[Neuroscience] Brain stem slices? Agar?

Bill via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by connelly.bill from gmail.com)
Tue Feb 26 20:53:37 EST 2008


Hey guys,

Has anyone cut brain stem slices (for e-phys) here before? I'm
thinking about cutting some coronal slices with the area around the
facial nuclei (on the ventral surface) in them. My three ideas for
doing this are:

1) Remove the whole brain, make a coronal cut at the level of the
around level of the superior colliculus. Glue the more rostral section
(containing the brain stem and the cerebellum) down by the surface
created by the cut, and section it using a vibrotome, with the blade
approaching from the ventral side.

2) Same as above, however, instead of gluing the cerebellum-brain stem
block onto a vibrotome, I would carefully dissect off the cerebellum,
and then lay the brain stem down on the stage of a McIlwain style
chopper, and cut away.

3) Produce the brainstem like in either 1 or 2, but mount it in agar,
and then use a vibrotome.

Thoughts?

Which brings me to my next question, I often see people mount brain
tissue in agar before sectioning. When we make agar for filling oocyte
electrodes or KCl bridges, it has to be nearly boiling to stay liquid,
i.e. you don't want to boil your brain tissue in agar; how are people
preparing their agar such that it is liquid at close to room temp, but
solid at 'ice cold' 4 degrees?

Thanks again.


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