RODENT HIPPOCAMPAL SLICE TECHNOLOGY: ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR MOLECULAR NEUROLOGIST ?
A.R. Koudinov1,2; T.T. Berezov1; N.V. Koudinova1,2*
1. Russian Acad Med Sci, Nat Mental Health Res Ctr, Inst Biomed Chem, Timoshenko 38-27, Moscow 121359, Russian Federation
2. Neurobiol and Biol Regulation, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
The role of hippocampus (Hip) in human and non-human primate learning and memory (L/M) has been well documented; it is credited with underlying the function of explicit memory, associated with awareness and intention to recall. As the primate Hip encodes conscious memories of faces, places and events, the rodent Hip encodes cognitive spatial information and is essential for L/M in rodents. Several characteristics of the Hip make it an ideal brain region for studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of L/M. First, Hip is easily identified and dissected out from the brain of rat and mice at any age. Serial slices can be prepared from a single Hip and each slice is very similar to the next one. Owing to the laminar structure of the Hip, electrodes can be highly replicable placed in selected areas of the slice and specific pathways can be stimulated for population spike and/or excitatory postsynaptic potential recording. Furthermore, LTP has been studied in more detail in the Hip than in any other brain region. In addition, the slices can be maintained in good physiological condition for many hours, allowing in vitro pharm modulation of the physiology and/or metabolic labeling with any probe. These points explain why hippocampal slice is an excellent system for the ex-vivo studies of neurological diseases. We thus far successfully used this technology to elucidate i) neuronal plasticity deficit in Alzheimer's transgenic mice, ii) the modulation of brain lipids by amyloid b and dietary cholesterol (Soc Neurosci Abst 1999;25:1859; Soc Neurosci Abst 1999;25:1860), and iii) the role of lipid peroxidation in epileptogenesis (ENS2001 abstract vol.).
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