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A cerebellar window for intravital imaging of normal and disease states in mice

Vasileios Askoxylakis, Mark Badeaux, Sylvie Roberge, Ana Batista, Ned Kirkpatrick, Matija Snuderl, Zohreh Amoozgar, Giorgio Seano, Gino B Ferraro, Sampurna Chatterjee, Lei Xu, Dai Fukumura, Dan G Duda, Rakesh K Jain
Nature Protocols2017
The cerebellum is a prominent part of the vertebrate hindbrain that is critically involved in the regulation of important body functions such as movement coordination, maintenance of balance and posture, and motor control. Here, we describe a cerebellar window that provides access to the mouse cerebellum for intravital imaging, thereby allowing for a detailed characterization of the dynamic processes in this region of the brain. First, the skull overlying the cerebellum is removed, and then the window is applied to the region of interest. Windows may be exchanged depending on the desired imaging modality. This technique has a variety of applications. In the setting of medulloblastoma, spontaneous or orthotopically implanted lesions can be imaged, and tumor morphology and size can be monitored using ultrasonography. Multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy (MPLSM) or optical-frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) can be applied for in vi v o visualization and analysis of cellular and vascular structures in a variety of disease states, including malignancies and ataxia telangiectasia. This protocol describes a novel and rapid method for cerebellar window construction that can be set up in under an hour.
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