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JoVE Encyclopedia of Experiments
Encyclopedia of Experiments: Biology

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In Vivo Murine Liver Perfusion: A Method to Infuse the Rodent Liver with Solution via the Portal Vein

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After anesthetizing and preparing the rodent, locate the portal vein and slide a thread under it. Tie a loose knot around the portal vein without pulling it taut. This will stabilize an IV catheter later during the protocol.

Holding the needle of an IV catheter bevel-up and parallel to the portal vein, insert it into the lumen - the space inside of the vein. Retract the needle and push the catheter through the vein all the way to the venous branched area within the liver.

After stabilizing the catheter, increase the peristaltic pump rate. Immediately, the liver should blanch as blood is replaced by perfusion liquid. Cut a major blood vessel to drain even more blood and perfusion liquid from the liver.

Squeeze the severed vessel a few times to inflate the liver and ensure it is completely devoid of blood. Switch the pump so that it perfuses buffer into the liver. Finally, repeat liver inflation briefly, taking care not to burst the liver from its connective tissue.

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