Intravital Imaging of Neuroimmune Interactions Through a Thinned Skull

Curr Protoc Immunol. 2018 Feb 21;120:24.2.1-24.2.12. doi: 10.1002/cpim.46.


Innate and adaptive immune interactions within the central nervous system (CNS) and surrounding meninges contribute significantly to neural homeostasis as well as a variety of different neurological disorders. Two-photon laser scanning microscopy is a deep tissue imaging technique that provides a means to image immune cell dynamics and interactions in the living CNS with high spatial and temporal resolution. Optical access to the brain and meninges can be achieved through the creation of thinned skull windows, which can be made without inducing damage and inflammation in the underlying tissue. This protocol provides guidance on how to create a thinned skull window without causing CNS injury. We also describe a highly reproducible method to induce a mild traumatic brain injury using the thinned skull approach. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: TBI; intravital imaging; neuroimmune; skull thinning; two-photon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / immunology
  • Intravital Microscopy
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Skull / surgery*