Research using rats sometimes requires long-term placement of catheters in the subarachnoid space, the cavity between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater in the brain. These catheters can be used to experimentally induce subarachnoid bleeding by injecting blood or to locally administer drugs or other substances. To date, published techniques for penetrating the subarachnoid space of small experimental animals require the use of inflexible or relatively inflexible catheters. These catheters typically consist of metal or stiff plastic and are used to access the occipital or frontal cranial cavity or to directly access the cisterna magna via the atlantooccipital membrane. However, inflexible catheters are not ideal for long-term placement in the subarachnoid space. In this paper, the authors describe a reliable procedure for long-term catheterization of the subarachnoid cavity of the rat. For this method, personnel insert the catheter and keep it in place in the rat's middle cranial cavity, in the vicinity of the cerebral arterial circle. This new approach allows personnel to repeatedly use the catheter for a period of at least 2 weeks. The catheter, which is well-tolerated by rats, can be used for administering saline solutions and for injecting blood that has not been treated with heparin into the subarachnoid space.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Alteration in amyloid Î²42, phosphorylated tau protein, interleukin 6, and acetylcholine during diabetes-accelerated memory dysfunction in diabetic rats: correlation of amyloid Î²42 with changes in glucose metabolism
Behavioral and Brain Functions Open Access 14 August 2015
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
We are sorry, but there is no personal subscription option available for your country.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Dorsch, N.W. Therapeutic approaches to vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage. Curr. Opin. Crit. Care 8, 128–133 (2002).
Dorsch, N.W. Cerebral arterial spasm—a clinical review. Br. J. Neurosurg. 9, 403–412 (1995).
Corsten, L. et al. Contemporary management of subarachnoid hemorrhage and vasospasm: the UIC experience. Surg. Neurol. 56, 140–150 (2001).
Bötel, C. & Brinker, T. Measurement of the dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid system in the rat. J. Exp. Anim. Sci. 36, 78–83 (1994).
Solomon, R.A., Antunes, J.L., Chen, R.Y., Bland, L. & Chien, S. Decrease in cerebral blood flow in rats after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage: a new animal model. Stroke 16, 58–64 (1985).
Delgado, T.J., Brismar, J. & Svendgaard, N.A. Subarachnoid haemorrhage in the rat: angiography and fluorescence microscopy of the major cerebral arteries. Stroke 16, 595–602 (1985).
Schwartz, A.Y., Masago, A., Sehba, F.A. & Bederson, J.B. Experimental models of subarachnoid hemorrhage in the rat: a refinement of the endovascular filament model. J. Neurosci. Methods 96, 161–167 (2000).
Prunell, G.F., Mathiesen, T., Diemer, N.H. & Svendgaard, N.A. Experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage: subarachnoid blood volume, mortality rate, neuronal death, cerebral blood flow, and perfusion pressure in three different rat models. Neurosurgery 52, 165–176 (2003).
Piepgras, A., Thomé, C. & Schmiedek, P. Characterization of an anterior circulation rat subarachnoid hemorrhage model. Stroke 26, 2347–2352 (1995).
Prunell, G.F., Mathiesen, T. & Svendgaard, N.A. A new experimental model in rats for study of the pathophysiology of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neuroreport 13, 2553–2556 (2002).
Marsala, M. Loop dialysis catheter: a technology for chronic spinal dialysis in a freely moving rat. Methods Mol. Med. 99, 99–108 (2004).
Patsalos, P.N., Alavijeh, M.S., Semba, J. & Lolin, Y.I. A freely moving and behaving rat model for the chronic and simultaneous study of drug pharmacokinetics (blood) and neuropharmacokinetics (cerebrospinal fluid): hematological and biochemical characterization and kinetic evaluation using carbamazepine. J. Pharmacol. Toxicol. Methods 28, 21–28 (1992).
Barth, K.N., Onesti, S.T., Krauss, W.E. & Solomon, R.A. A simple and reliable technique to monitor intracranial pressure in the rat: technical note. Neurosurgery 30, 138–40 (1992).
Malkmus, S.A. & Yaksh, T.L. Intrathecal catheterization and drug delivery in the rat. Methods Mol. Med. 99, 109–121 (2004).
Walls, E.K. & Wishart, T.B. Reliable method for cannulation of the third ventricle of the rat. Physiol. Behav. 19, 171–173 (1977).
Yaksh, T.L. & Rudy, T.A. Chronic catheterization of the spinal subarachnoid space. Physiol. Behav. 17, 1031–1036 (1976).
Sanvitto, G.L., Azambuja, N.A. & Marques, M. A technique for collecting cerebrospinal fluid using an intraventricular cannula in rats. Physiol. Behav. 41, 523–524 (1987).
German Animal Welfare Act (1998).
Council of Europe. European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes (ETS 123). (Strasbourg, France, Council of Europe, 1986).
Megyesi, J.F., Vollrath, B., Cook, D.A. & Findlay, J.M. In vivo animal models of cerebral vasospasm: a review. Neurosurgery 46, 448–461 (2000).
Nicklas, W. et al. Recommendations for the health monitoring of rodent and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units. Lab. Anim. 36, 20–42 (2002).
Mattson, D.L. Long-term measurement of arterial blood pressure in conscious mice. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 274, R564–R570 (1998).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Ehlert, A., Tiemann, B., Elsner, J. et al. Long-term subarachnoid catheter placement in the middle cranial fossa of the rat. Lab Anim 39, 352–359 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/laban1110-352