A perfusion protocol for lizards, including a method for brain removal

Daniel Hoops*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The goal of fixation is to rapidly and uniformly preserve tissue in a life-like state. Perfusion achieves optimal fixation by pumping fixative directly through an animal's circulatory system. Standard perfusion techniques were developed primarily for application in mammals, which are traditional neuroscience research models. Increasingly, other vertebrate groups are also being used in neuroscience. Following mammalian perfusion protocols for non-mammalian vertebrates often results in failed perfusions. Here, I present a modified perfusion protocol suitable for lizards. Though geared towards standard brain perfusion, this protocol is easily modified for the perfusion of other tissues and for various specialized histological techniques. The two aortas of the lizard heart, emerging from a single ventricle, mean that care must be taken to place the perfusion needle in the correct aorta, unlike in mammals.Only the head and neck perfuse - the visceral organs will not decolour, and the body may not twitch.I also include a method for removing a lizard brain, which differs from mammals due to the incomplete and thicker skull of the lizard.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-173
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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