Protocol for in utero injection to investigate Zika virus-related fetal microcephaly in mice

STAR Protoc. 2021 Dec 22;3(1):101057. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2021.101057. eCollection 2022 Mar 18.


Zika virus (ZIKV) is linked to congenital defects including microcephaly. An infection model that can recapitulate most microcephaly-related phenotypes is crucial for understanding ZIKV pathogenesis. Here, we present a protocol to generate ZIKV from an infectious clone through a reverse genetic system and subsequently perform embryonic brain infection with the rescued ZIKV in pregnant mice. We optimized several aspects of the procedures including virus rescue and in utero injection. This protocol facilitates reproducible investigation of virus-induced cortical development defects. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Zeng et al. (2020).

Keywords: Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Neuroscience; Stem Cells.