Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is in direct contact with the extracellular space in the central nervous system (CNS), and biological changes in the brain can be reflected in CSF. In the present article, a procedure for collection of CSF in rats is described. The technique quickly and reliably yields large quantities of CSF (50-150 microl) in rats. More importantly, blood contamination of the CSF is avoided. Furthermore, detections of ATP and interleukin (IL)-1 beta in the CSF have been carried out. ATP concentration in the CSF samples was between 8.3 and 15.8 nM, with an average of 10.5+/-0.83 nM (mean+/-SEM). The concentrations of IL-1beta were below the detection limit in the CSF in the laminectomy control rats, but it increased to 0.26+/-0.07 ng/ml at 1h after spinal cord injury. This technique offers an alternative method to surgical cannulation for the collection of CSF in rats.
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