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J Neurosci Methods. 2010 May 30;189(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.02.015. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Imaging fluid flow and cilia beating pattern in Xenopus brain ventricles.

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Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Texas A&M University at Commerce, 2600 S. Neal Street, Commerce, TX 75428, USA.


Brain development and health depends upon the efficient movement of the cerebrospinal fluid inside of brain ventricles. When disrupted either through mutation, disease, or physiological damage, brain function becomes significantly impaired. Here I present a simple method of following cerebrospinal fluid circulation in Xenopus tadpoles using fluorescent microspheres which can be applied to imaging fluid circulation in any transparent embryo. In particular, cilia may be labeled with these microspheres to study their dynamics and movement patterns in vivo while simultaneously measuring bulk fluid flow. This technique will facilitate the analysis of fluid dynamics in developing embryos and aid in understanding the regulation of cilia dependent fluid flow in vivo.

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