A novel method of intracranial injection via the postglenoid foramen for brain tumor mouse models

J Neurosurg. 2012 Mar;116(3):630-5. doi: 10.3171/2011.10.JNS11852. Epub 2011 Dec 9.


Object: Mouse models have been widely used in developing therapies for human brain tumors. However, surgical techniques such as bone drilling and skin suturing to create brain tumors in adult mice are still complicated. The aim of this study was to establish a simple and accurate method for intracranial injection of cells or other materials into mice.

Methods: The authors performed micro CT scans and skull dissection to assess the anatomical characteristics of the mouse postglenoid foramen. They then used xenograft and genetically engineered mouse models to evaluate a novel technique of percutaneous intracranial injection via the postglenoid foramen. They injected green fluorescent protein-labeled U87MG cells or virus-producing cells into adult mouse brains via the postglenoid foramen and identified the location of the created tumors by using bioluminescence imaging and histological analysis.

Results: The postglenoid foramen was found to be a well-conserved anatomical structure that allows percutaneous injection into the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, and basal cistern in mice. The mean (± SD) time for the postglenoid foramen injection technique was 88 ± 15 seconds. The incidence of in-target tumor formation in the xenograft model ranged from 80% to 100%, depending on the target site. High-grade gliomas were successfully developed by postglenoid foramen injection in the adult genetically engineered mouse using virus-mediated platelet-derived growth factor B gene transfer. There were no procedure-related complications.

Conclusions: The postglenoid foramen can be used as a needle entry site into the brain of the adult mouse. Postglenoid foramen injection is a less invasive, safe, precise, and rapid method of implanting cells into the adult mouse brain. This method can be applied to both orthotopic xenograft and genetically engineered mouse models and may have further applications in mice for the development of therapies for human brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Injections / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microdissection / methods
  • Temporal Bone / physiology*
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / methods*