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J Neurosci Methods. 1996 Dec;70(1):91-102.

The use of in vitro preparations of the isolated amphibian central nervous system in neuroanatomy and electrophysiology.

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Zoologisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany.


In the present study an isolated preparation of the complete anuran central nervous system (CNS) is described which can be kept alive for several days and allows tracing, immunohistochemical and electrophysiological studies. A simple perfusion chamber is being used in which the isolated CNS preparation is superfused with oxygenated Ringer. The use of an isolated CNS has many advantages including: (1) virtually all areas are easily accessible at the same time without having the problem of blood vessels that hinder access; (2) large lesions and massive tracer applications are possible without survival problems of the animal, and tracers will not be translocated by blood circulation; (3) since pulsations caused by the pressure changes of blood circulation do not occur, intracellular recordings are comparatively easy and stable; and (4) this approach offers the possibility of working on the same brain for several days by storing the preparation in a refrigerator overnight at low temperatures, thus allowing extensive utilization of a single preparation and reduction in the number of experimental animals required. Some applications to the anuran auditory system illustrate that the isolated anuran CNS is well-suited for a variety of neuroanatomical and physiological techniques.

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