In circadian research, it is common to sleep deprive animals by means of gentle handling. Yesterday, however, the lab techinician and myself learned an invaluable lesson; mice become chronically stressed from gentle handling, and such stress may lead to cardiac arrest. This event ensued as we attempted to perform a manual microdialysis collection. For those not familiar with this procedure, an inflow line of artifical cerebral spinal fluid, which circulates in ventricles throughout the brain, is pumped through a probe (see blue cap), and is utilized to measure the extracellular environment of a particular region of study. In this case, I am interested in measuring the time course of ethanol metabolism in the suprachiasmic nucleus following an acute injection of ethanol (see previous SCN blog for more details of its function [hey! you should know this by now!]). This photo is courtesy of http://www.montegraphia.com.
Warning: Gentle Handling May Cause Death