Extraction and dissection of the domesticated pig brain

Stephen A. Fleming, Supida Monaikul, Austin T. Mudd, Reeba Jacob, Ryan N. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Use of the pig as a preclinical and translatable animal model has been well-documented and accepted by research fields investigating cardiovascular systems, gastrointestinal systems, and nutrition, and the pig is increasingly being used as a large animal model in neuroscience. Furthermore, the pig is an accepted model to study neurodevelopment as it displays brain growth and development patterns similar to what occurs in humans. As a less common animal model in neuroscience, surgical and dissection procedures on pigs may not be as familiar or well-practiced among researchers. Therefore, a standardized visual protocol detailing consistent extraction and dissection methods may prove valuable for researchers working with the pig. The following video showcases a technique to remove the pig brain while keeping the cortex and brainstem intact and reviews methods to dissect several commonly investigated brain regions including the brainstem, cerebellum, midbrain, hippocampus, striatum, thalamus, and medial prefrontal cortex. The purpose of this video is to provide researchers with the tools and knowledge necessary to consistently perform a brain extraction and dissection on the four-week-old pig.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62030
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number170
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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