Mouse Hematology: A laboratory manual for scientists

The mouse is a standard laboratory model organism, but there are currently few resources that describe conventional techniques to analyze blood and blood-forming tissues in this species.

A newly released set of compact and easy-to-use laboratory resources from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press fills this gap. Mouse Hematology features step-by-step protocols for the preparation, enumeration, and microscopic examination of peripheral blood, bone marrow, and other hematopoietic tissues in the mouse. The laboratory manual is accompanied by a DVD with video demonstrations of the techniques and a poster of blood cell types for easy identification at the microscope.

Mouse Hematology was written by James J. Lee (Mayo Clinic Arizona) and two members of his lab, Michael P. McGarry and Cheryl A. Protheroe. All three have extensive experience employing hematological procedures in mice, and they wrote the book partly in response to numerous requests for help in preparing samples and identifying blood cell types. "Our goal here is to present standards and procedures for the examination of blood and blood-forming tissues of the laboratory mouse," the authors write in the preface of the book. "The described methodologies will allow for the morphological examination of blood, bone marrow, and/or hematopoietic tissues in research protocols and, in turn, will provide a greater understanding of mouse models of human disease."

The manual describes how to collect blood samples from adult mice and mouse pups; determine hematocrit and use a hemocytometer to count cells; and smear, fix, and stain blood films. Detailed protocols for performing bone marrow biopsies and for preparing bone marrow smears and suspensions for cytospin analysis are also provided. High-quality video demonstrations of most of the techniques are included on the DVD.

In addition to protocols, Mouse Hematology contains full-color images and detailed descriptions of the morphology of mature blood cells and their progenitors. The poster also presents examples of different blood cell types and will be a useful reference at the microscope.

This set of resources will be useful to laboratory scientists at all levels who work with mice to study hematopoiesis, stem cells, the immune system, and genetic diseases that affect the blood.

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