Physiology and Pharmacology:
By HCS Student: Sherrell Griffin
Mentor: Dr. Eitan Friedman
Physiology and Pharmacology Department
What kind of research is done in the Physiology
and Pharmacology department?
Physiology is the study of living organisms and
their parts and how they function under normal
conditions. The main interest is the study of mechanical,
physical and biochemical processes, which assist the
organism in keeping certain characteristics, such as body
temperature, at a healthy level. It is important to study
how these processes communicate and how they affect the
body. Another important purpose is research on how the
body responds immeasurable conditions or disease. These
studies can lead to treatment or pharmacological
Pharmacology is the science of chemical
substances and how they interact with living
organisms. The filed covers everything from the
structure and production of drugs to toxic effects
and medical work. Pharmacological research will
often be used to characterize a disease or a normal
What is the importance of this
Physiology and pharmacology research goals are to
explain the mechanisms that regulate normal
physiological processes, the reasons for their failure in
diseased states, and to explain the actions of drugs to
prevent, diagnose or treat disease. To this end a
variety of molecular, biochemical, cellular and whole
organism experimental techniques are used. One such
technique, which is the high light of my presentation,
is animal perfusion
Animal perfusion is a common technique in the
physiology research laboratory. The term “perfusion”
is derived from the French verb “perfuse” meaning to
pour over of through.” Fluid is injected into a blood
vessel to an organ or a tissue.
What is the purpose of
performing a perfusion?
The purpose of performing a perfusion is to get rid of
all the blood and replace it with par formaldehyde
fixer. It fixes tissues so it won’t degrade as fast and
can process and save tissue.
• Add fixative to one of 500ml bottles.
• Add saline solution to the other 500 mL bottle. Open the
fixative valve and bleed the fixative line from the bottle
to the T-junction to eliminate air bubbles. Close the
fixative valve, open the saline valve and bleed the saline
line all the way to the canola. Close the saline valve.
• Anesthetize rat into a deep surgical plane using
approved animal care protocols.
• Place animal on back in dissection tray.
• Make surgical cut along chest midline to expose rib
cage using curved blade scalpel.
• Make lateral cuts bisecting ribs on both sides of animal;
reflect rib cage exposing pericardium.
• Expose the heart and insert a large bore blunt needle
(18 gauge) into the ascending aorta or left ventricle.
This will be the entry site for the perfusate.
• Open saline stopcock and turn on peristaltic pump (if used) to
allow saline flow.
• Perfuse the rat with 25-50 ml of the saline solution for 10-15 min.
• Perfuse with saline solution until the fluid is clear. Any blood
remaining in the brain will cause staining of RBC's in subsequent
immunohistochemical staining procedures.
• When draining fluid is clear, open fixative stopcock and close
saline stop cock to initiate fixation. Eyes, liver, and tongue should
become pale as blood drains.
• Perfuse the rat with fixative in the same manner as with saline.
• Tissue is now ready for dissection followed by immersion in 0.1
M phosphate buffer containing 15% sucrose for 24 hours at 4°C
for future cryosectioning (optional).
• Using scissors or triangular blade scalpel, snip or pierce the right
atrium or vena cava to allow the blood, normal saline and fixative
to leave the body during perfusion.
Fixes tissues to keep it Par formaldehyde is toxic
longer. and carcinogenic meaning
that it is cancer causing.
• Mentor Eitan Friedman
• Dr. Sat
• Ms. Sheveen Greene
• City College