Stereotaxic surgery and viral delivery of zinc-finger epigenetic editing tools in rodent brain

Peter J. Hamilton, Carissa J. Lim, Eric J. Nestler, Elizabeth A. Heller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Delivery of engineered zinc-finger proteins (ZFPs) for targeted epigenetic remodeling in rodent brain can be facilitated by the use of viral vector-mediated gene transfer coupled with stereotaxic surgery techniques. Here we describe the surgical protocol utilized by our group which is optimized for herpes simplex virus (HSV) delivery into mouse brain. The protocol outlined herein could be applied for delivery of adeno-associated viruses (AAV) or lentiviruses in both mice and rats. This method allows for the viral expression of engineered DNA-binding factors, particularly engineered ZFPs, and subsequent epigenome editing in rodent brain with excellent spatiotemporal control. Nearly any brain region of interest can be targeted in rodents at every stage of postnatal life. Owing to the versatility, reproducibility, and utility of this technique, it is an important method for any laboratory interested in studying the cellular, circuit, and behavioral consequences of in vivo neuroepigenetic editing with synthetic ZFP constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Neuroepigenome editing
  • Rodent brain
  • Stereotaxic surgery
  • Viral mediated gene transfer
  • Zinc-finger proteins


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