To fully understand the cellular physiology of neurons and glia in behaving animals, it is necessary to visualize their morphology and record their activity in vivo in behaving mice. This paper describes a method for the implantation of a chronic cranial window to allow for the longitudinal imaging of brain cells in awake, head-restrained mice. In combination with genetic strategies and viral injections, it is possible to label specific cells and regions of interest with structural or physiological markers. This protocol demonstrates how to combine viral injections to label neurons in the vicinity of GCaMP6-expressing astrocytes in the cortex for simultaneous imaging of both cells through a cranial window. Multiphoton imaging of the same cells can be performed for days, weeks, or months in awake, behaving animals. This approach provides researchers with a method for viewing cellular dynamics in real time and can be applied to answer a number of questions in neuroscience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)