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Cell Tissue Bank. 2008 Sep;9(3):169-79. doi: 10.1007/s10561-008-9068-1. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

The collection and processing of human brain tissue for research.

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Department of Anatomy with Radiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


To further understand the neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and neuropathology of the normal and diseased human brain, it is essential to have access to human brain tissue where the biological and chemical nature of the tissue is optimally preserved. We have established a human brain bank where brain tissue is optimally processed and stored in order to provide a resource to facilitate neuroscience research of the human brain in health and disease. A donor programme has been established in consultation with the community to provide for the post-mortem donation of brain tissue to the brain bank. We are using this resource of human brain tissue to further investigate the basis of normal neuronal functioning in the human brain as well as the mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases. We have established a protocol for the preservation of post-mortem adult human brain tissue firstly by snap-freezing unfixed brain tissue and secondly by chemical fixation and then storage of this tissue at -80 degrees C in a human brain bank. Several research techniques such as receptor autoradiography, DNA and RNA analysis, are carried out on the unfixed tissue and immunohistochemical and histological analysis is carried out on the fixed human tissue. Comparison of tissue from normal control cases and from cases with neurodegenerative disorders is carried out in order to document the changes that occur in the brain in these disorders and to further investigate the underlying pathogenesis of these devastating neurological diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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