We developed a relatively inexpensive method for stereotaxic placement of electrodes or needles in the brains of monkeys. Steel balls were affixed to the skulls of monkeys. These balls served as fiducial markers and were also used as points at which the monkey's skull was held in a modified stereotaxic apparatus. Computed tomography (CT) was used to establish the location of an injection target with respect to the fiducial markers. A computer program related the CT coordinates to stereotaxic coordinates. These were used to direct an electrode marker toward a target in the hypothalamus. With the marker left in place, the monkey was removed from the stereotaxic frame and a second CT scan was performed. Corrections for errors in marker placement were made and retrograde tracers were injected. This procedure was found to be more accurate and reliable than conventional stereotaxic procedures. The accuracy and repeatability of the technique were also established using a phantom model of a monkey's skull. Two important advantages of this method are that animals can be repeatedly placed into the stereotaxic frame in precisely the same position and that there are many opportunities during the procedure to check for and correct errors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank M. Brandt, C. Starr, and H. Truong for invaluable technical assistance. We are also grateful to the Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota, for providing CT scans. This work was supported by NIH Grant NS25932 (to GJG) and DA09641 (to CNH).
- CT scans
- Fiducial landmarks
- Stereotaxic injections