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Cell Tissue Bank. 2014 Mar;15(1):99-110. doi: 10.1007/s10561-013-9380-2. Epub 2013 May 25.

Standardized method for the harvest of nonhuman primate tissue optimized for multiple modes of analyses.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


Appropriate animal models are critical to conduct translational studies of human disorders without variables that can confound clinical studies. Such analytic methods as patch-clamp electrophysiological and voltammetric recordings of neurons in brain slices require living brain tissue. In order to obtain viable tissue from nonhuman primate brains, tissue collection methods must be designed to preserve cardiovascular and respiratory functions for as long as possible. This paper describes a method of necropsy that has been used in three species of monkeys that satisfies this requirement. At necropsy, animals were maintained under a deep surgical plane of anesthesia while a craniotomy was conducted to expose the brain. Following the craniotomy, animals were perfused with ice-cold, oxygenated artificial cerebrospinal fluid to displace blood and to reduce the temperature of the entire brain. The brain was removed within minutes of death and specific brain regions were immediately dissected for subsequent in vitro electrophysiology or voltammetry experiments. This necropsy method also provided for the collection of tissue blocks containing all brain regions that were immediately frozen and stored for subsequent genomic, proteomic, autoradiographic and histological studies. An added benefit from the design of this necropsy method is that all major peripheral tissues were also collected and are now being utilized in a wide range of genomic, biochemical and histological assays. This necropsy method has resulted in the establishment and growth of a nonhuman primate alcohol tissue bank designed to distribute central nervous system and peripheral tissues to the larger scientific community.

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