Preparation of Acute Brain Slices Using an Optimized N-Methyl-D-glucamine Protective Recovery Method

* These authors contributed equally
This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

This protocol is a practical guide to the N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG) protective recovery method of brain slice preparation. Numerous recent studies have validated the utility of this method for enhancing neuronal preservation and overall brain slice viability. The implementation of this technique by early adopters has facilitated detailed investigations into brain function using diverse experimental applications and spanning a wide range of animal ages, brain regions, and cell types. Steps are outlined for carrying out the protective recovery brain slice technique using an optimized NMDG artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) media formulation and enhanced procedure to reliably obtain healthy brain slices for patch clamp electrophysiology. With this updated approach, a substantial improvement is observed in the speed and reliability of gigaohm seal formation during targeted patch clamp recording experiments while maintaining excellent neuronal preservation, thereby facilitating challenging experimental applications. Representative results are provided from multi-neuron patch clamp recording experiments to assay synaptic connectivity in neocortical brain slices prepared from young adult transgenic mice and mature adult human neurosurgical specimens. Furthermore, the optimized NMDG protective recovery method of brain slicing is compatible with both juvenile and adult animals, thus resolving a limitation of the original methodology. In summary, a single media formulation and brain slicing procedure can be implemented across various species and ages to achieve excellent viability and tissue preservation.