C Njoo, C Heinl and R Kuner,
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, Mar 22 2014
This report describes a step-by-step guide to the technique of acute intrathecal needle injections in a noninvasive manner, i.e. independent of catheter implantation. The technical limitation of this surgical technique lies in the finesse of the hands. The injection is rapid, especially for a trained experimenter, and since tissue disruption with this technique is minimal, repeated injections are possible; moreover immune reaction to foreign tools (e.g. catheter) does not occur, thereby giving a better and more specific read out of spinal cord modulation. Since the application of the substance is largely limited to the target region of the spinal cord, drugs do not need to be applied in large dosages, and more importantly unwanted effects on other tissue, as observed with a systemic delivery, could be circumvented(1,2). Moreover, we combine this technique with in vivo transfection of nucleic acid with the help of polyethylenimine (PEI) reagent(3), which provides tremendous versatility for studying spinal functions via delivery of pharmacological agents as well as gene, RNA, and protein modulators.