Staining protocol for organotypic hippocampal slice cultures

Nat Protoc. 2006;1(5):2452-6. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2006.180.


This protocol details a method to immunostain organotypic slice cultures from mouse hippocampus. The cultures are based on the interface method, which does not require special equipment, is easy to execute and yields slice cultures that can be imaged repeatedly, from the time of isolation at postnatal day 6-9 up to 6 months in vitro. The preserved tissue architecture facilitates the analysis of defined hippocampal synapses, cells and entire projections. Time-lapse imaging is based on transgenes expressed in the mice or on constructs introduced through transfection or viral vectors; it can reveal processes that develop over periods ranging from seconds to months. Subsequent to imaging, the slices can be processed for immunocytochemistry to collect further information about the imaged structures. This protocol can be completed in 3 d.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Mice
  • Tissue Fixation / methods