An Improved Method for Collection of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Anesthetized Mice

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a valuable body fluid for analysis in neuroscience research. It is one of the fluids in closest contact with the central nervous system and thus, can be used to analyze the diseased state of the brain or spinal cord without directly accessing these tissues. However, in mice it is difficult to obtain from the cisterna magna due to its closeness to blood vessels, which often contaminate samples. The area for CSF collection in mice is also difficult to dissect to and often only small samples are obtained (maximum of 5-7 µL or less). This protocol describes in detail a technique that improves on current methods of collection to minimize contamination from blood and allow for the abundant collection of CSF (on average 10-15 µL can be collected). This technique can be used with other dissection methods for tissue collection from mice, as it does not impact any tissues during CSF extraction. Thus, the brain and spinal cord are not affected with this technique and remain intact. With greater CSF sample collection and purity, more analyses can be used with this fluid to further aid neuroscience research and better understand diseases affecting the brain and spinal cord.