Orientation for Cutting

Orientation of the slice relative to the cutting edge of the knife (McIlwain tissue chopper, Brinkman Instruments, Westbury, NY) will depend somewhat on which areas of the hippocampus are of special interest. For studies of the CA1 region, we have found that orienting the slice at about a 30 degree angle with respect to the cutting blade will provide slices with good anatomical definition of the pyramidal cell layers, particularly those chosen from the middle third of the overall slice.

FIGURE 10.1

Drawings represent (A) removal of the cerebellum from the brain with razor blade, (B) separation of the cerebral hemispheres, (C) reshaped plastic picnic knife useful for blunt dissection, (D) a saggital view of the right hemisphere of a rat brain, (E) use of the dissecting knife to separate out the right hippocampus.

FIGURE 10.1

Drawings represent (A) removal of the cerebellum from the brain with razor blade, (B) separation of the cerebral hemispheres, (C) reshaped plastic picnic knife useful for blunt dissection, (D) a saggital view of the right hemisphere of a rat brain, (E) use of the dissecting knife to separate out the right hippocampus.

Investigators often do not specify the origin of the slices, but may use slices from either end of the hippocampus as well.

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