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J Vis Exp. 2013 Oct 6;(80). doi: 10.3791/50556.

Parabiosis in mice: a detailed protocol.

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1
Department of Medicine-Division of Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Abstract

Parabiosis is a surgical union of two organisms allowing sharing of the blood circulation. Attaching the skin of two animals promotes formation of microvasculature at the site of inflammation. Parabiotic partners share their circulating antigens and thus are free of adverse immune reaction. First described by Paul Bert in 1864(1), the parabiosis surgery was refined by Bunster and Meyer in 1933 to improve animal survival(2). In the current protocol, two mice are surgically joined following a modification of the Bunster and Meyer technique. Animals are connected through the elbow and knee joints followed by attachment of the skin allowing firm support that prevents strain on the sutured skin. Herein, we describe in detail the parabiotic joining of a ubiquitous GFP expressing mouse to a wild type (WT) mouse. Two weeks after the procedure, the pair is separated and GFP positive cells can be detected by flow cytometric analysis in the blood circulation of the WT mouse. The blood chimerism allows one to examine the contribution of the circulating cells from one animal in the other.

PMID:
24145664
PMCID:
PMC3938334
DOI:
10.3791/50556
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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