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J Vis Exp. 2011 Mar 21;(49). pii: 2527. doi: 10.3791/2527.

Preparation and culture of chicken auditory brainstem slices.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington, USA.


The chicken auditory brainstem is a well-established model system that has been widely used to study the anatomy and physiology of auditory processing at discreet periods of development as well as mechanisms for temporal coding in the central nervous system. Here we present a method to prepare chicken auditory brainstem slices that can be used for acute experimental procedures or to culture organotypic slices for long-term experimental manipulations. The chicken auditory brainstem is composed of nucleus angularis, magnocellularis, laminaris and superior olive. These nuclei are responsible for binaural sound processing and single coronal slice preparations preserve the entire circuitry. Ultimately, organotypic slice cultures can provide the opportunity to manipulate several developmental parameters such as synaptic activity, expression of pre and postsynaptic components, expression of aspects controlling excitability and differential gene expression This approach can be used to broaden general knowledge about neural circuit development, refinement and maturation.

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