Increasing the effectiveness of intracerebral injections in adult and neonatal mice: a neurosurgical point of view

Neurosci Bull. 2015 Dec;31(6):685-96. doi: 10.1007/s12264-015-1558-0. Epub 2015 Sep 7.


Intracerebral injections of tracers or viral constructs in rodents are now commonly used in the neurosciences and must be executed perfectly. The purpose of this article is to update existing protocols for intracerebral injections in adult and neonatal mice. Our procedure for stereotaxic injections in adult mice allows the investigator to improve the effectiveness and safety, and save time. Furthermore, for the first time, we describe a two-handed procedure for intracerebral injections in neonatal mice that can be performed by a single operator in a very short time. Our technique using the stereotaxic arm allows a higher precision than freehand techniques previously described. Stereotaxic injections in adult mice can be performed in 20 min and have >90% efficacy in targeting the injection site. Injections in neonatal mice can be performed in 5 min. Efficacy depends on the difficulty of precisely localizing the injection sites, due to the small size of the animal. We describe an innovative, effortless, and reproducible surgical protocol for intracerebral injections in adult and neonatal mice.

Keywords: neonatal brain; neurosciences; newborn mice; rodents; stereotaxic injection; surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Injections, Intraventricular / methods*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*