Head-mounted central venous access during optical recordings and manipulations of neural activity in mice

Christine Liu, Daniel J. Freeman,Stephan Lammel

Nature Protocols(2024)

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Establishing reliable intravenous catheterization in mice with optical implants allows the combination of neural manipulations and recordings with rapid, time-locked delivery of pharmacological agents. Here we present a procedure for handmade jugular vein catheters designed for head-mounted intravenous access and provide surgical and postoperative guidance for improved survival and patency. A head-mounted vascular access point eliminates the need for a back-mounted button in animals already receiving neural implants, thereby reducing sites of implantation. This protocol, which is readily adoptable by experimenters with previous training and experience in mouse surgery, enables repeated fiber photometry recordings or optogenetic manipulation during drug delivery in adult mice that are awake and behaving, whether head fixed or freely moving. With practice, an experienced surgeon requires ~30 min to perform catheterization on each mouse. Altogether, these techniques facilitate the reliable and repeated delivery of pharmacological agents in mouse models while simultaneously recording at high temporal resolution and/or manipulating neural populations.
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