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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (14)
- European Journal of Pharmacology
- American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology
- Brain Research
- FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Brain Research. Developmental Brain Research
- Brain Research
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Biotechnology and Bioengineering
- Biotechnology and Bioengineering
- Biomedical Microdevices
- Biotechnology and Bioengineering
- Journal of Neural Engineering
- Nutritional Neuroscience
- Frontiers in Pharmacology
Articles by Tanya Comas in JoVE
Culturing and Electrophysiology of Cells on NRCC Patch-clamp Chips
Christophe Py1, Marzia Martina2, Robert Monette2, Tanya Comas2, Mike W. Denhoff1, Collin Luk3, Naweed I. Syed3, Geoff Mealing2
1Institute for Microstructural Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, 2Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, 3Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
We show how planar patch-clamp chips fabricated at the National Research Council of Canada are sterilized, primed, loaded with medium, plated with cells, and used for electrophysiological recordings.
Other articles by Tanya Comas on PubMed
Protection of Cortical Neurons Against Oxygen-glucose Deprivation and N-methyl-D-aspartate by DIDS and SITS
European Journal of Pharmacology. Mar, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12600690
The Cl(-) channel blockers, 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS) or 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (SITS) dose-dependently protected against oxygen-glucose deprivation in cultured rat cortical neurons. DIDS or SITS attenuated oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced increases in extracellular glutamate concentrations and intracellular Ca(2+). DIDS or SITS provided moderate protection against N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) toxicity and decreased NMDA receptor-mediated increases in intracellular Ca(2+). Whole-cell NMDA receptor currents were attenuated 39+/-2% and 21+/-3% by 1 mM DIDS and SITS, respectively. Other Cl(-) channel blockers as equipotent as DIDS and SITS did not decrease oxygen-glucose deprivation- or NMDA-mediated neuronal Ca(2+) influx or toxicity. Neurotoxicity by exogenous glutamate was not prevented by SITS and was exacerbated by DIDS. Reductions in oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced increases in intracellular Ca(2+) levels underlie neuroprotection by DIDS and SITS. This was a reflection of lower extracellular [glutamate], direct inhibition of Ca(2+) influx through postsynaptic NMDA receptors, and possibly through other protective properties associated with DIDS and SITS.
Preconditioning of Cortical Neurons by Oxygen-glucose Deprivation: Tolerance Induction Through Abbreviated Neurotoxic Signaling
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. Oct, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12814913
Transient exposure of rat cortical cultures to nonlethal oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD preconditioning) induces tolerance to otherwise lethal oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) or N-methyl-D-aspartate 24 h later. This study evaluates the role of cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+-dependent cellular signaling. Mechanistic findings are placed in context with other models of ischemic preconditioning or known neurotoxic pathways within cortical neurons. Tolerance to otherwise lethal OGD is suppressed by performing OGD preconditioning in the presence of the broad-scope catalytic antioxidants Mn(III)tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin (MnTBAP) or Zn(II)tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin [Zn(II)TBAP], but not by a less active analog, Mn(III)tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin, or a potent superoxide scavenger, Mn(III)tetra(N-ethyl-2-pyridyl)porphyrin chloride. Inhibitors of adenosine A1 receptors, nitric oxide synthase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase fail to suppress OGD preconditioning despite possible links with reactive oxygen species in other models of ischemic preconditioning. Preconditioning is suppressed by 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), which has been ascribed elsewhere to inhibition of superoxide transport to the cytosol through mitochondrial anion channels. However, although it induces mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, neuronal preconditioning is largely insensitive to mitochondrial uncoupling with carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone or 2,4-dinitrophenol. Un-couplers will prevent production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, implying nonmitochondrial targets by MnTBAP, Zn(II)TBAP, and DIDS. Emphasizing the importance of an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ during preconditioning, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II inhibitor, KN-62, suppresses development of subsequent tolerance. Summarizing, only those cellular transduction pathways that have the potential to be neurotoxic may be activated by preconditioning in cortical neurons. Finally, a marked decrease in extracellular glutamate is observed during otherwise lethal OGD in preconditioned cultures, suggesting that this end effector may represent a point of convergence across different preconditioning models.
Brain Research. Mar, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15725398
The growth-arrest-specific protein gas7 is required for morphological differentiation of cultured mouse cerebellar neurons and PC12 cells. Moreover, its overexpression in various cell types induces neurite-like outgrowth. The role of gas7 in neuronal differentiation was further characterized by adenovirus-mediated overexpression in PC12 cells and quantification of the expression of various neuronal markers, in the absence and presence of different concentrations of nerve growth factor (NGF). The potential neuroprotective activity of gas7 against various neurotoxic insults was also assessed. In addition to promoting the formation of neurite-like extensions, overexpression of gas7 potentiated NGF-mediated neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells, as shown by the enhanced expression of the neuronal proteins betaIII-tubulin, synaptotagmin, alpha7 subunit of the acetylcholine receptor, and dihydropyrimidinase related protein-3. This effect was exerted independently of cell cycle progression, as gas7 did not affect proliferation of PC12 cells. While some differentiation enhancers protect PC12 cells against lethal insults, gas7 overexpression in PC12 cells did not protect against oxygen-glucose deprivation, the calcium ionophore A23187, or the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside, suggesting that gas7 is not neuroprotective. The ability of gas7 to potentiate neuronal differentiation makes it a potential therapeutic target to promote re-establishment of neuronal connections in the injured or diseased brain, such as following stroke.
An Alternative Ca2+-dependent Mechanism of Neuroprotection by the Metalloporphyrin Class of Superoxide Dismutase Mimetics
FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16081500
This study challenges the conventional view that metalloporphyrins protect cultured cortical neurons in models of cerebral ischemia by acting as intracellular catalytic antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetics]. High SOD-active Mn(III)porphyrins meso-substituted with N,N'-dimethylimidazolium or N-alkylpyridinium groups did not protect neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), although lower SOD-active and -inactive para isomers protected against N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) exposure. Mn(III)meso-tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin (Mn(III)TBAP), as well as SOD-inactive metalloTBAPs and other phenyl ring- or beta-substituted metalloporphyrins that contained redox-insensitive metals, protected cultures against OGD and NMDA neurotoxicity. Crucially, neuroprotective metalloporphyrins suppressed OGD- or NMDA-induced rises in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in the same general rank order as observed for neuroprotection. Results from paraquat toxicity, intracellular fluorescence quenching, electrophysiology, mitochondrial Ca2+, and spontaneous synaptic activity experiments suggest a model in which metalloporphyrins, acting at the plasma membrane, protect neurons against OGD by suppressing postsynaptic NMDA receptor-mediated Ca2+ rises, thereby indirectly preventing accumulation of neurotoxic mitochondrial Ca2+ levels. Though neuroprotective in a manner not originally intended, SOD-inactive metalloporphyrins may represent promising therapeutic agents in diseases such as cerebral ischemia, in which Ca2+ toxicity is implicated. Conventional syntheses aimed at improving the catalytic antioxidant capability and/or intracellular access of metalloporphyrins may not yield improved efficacy in some disease models.
Cytoskeletal, Synaptic, and Nuclear Protein Changes Associated with Rat Interface Organotypic Hippocampal Slice Culture Development
Brain Research. Developmental Brain Research. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16271399
Although organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs) are used to study function within the hippocampus, the effect of maintenance in vitro upon protein expression is not fully understood. Therefore, we examined developmental changes in cultures prepared from P8 rats and maintained on porous membranes between medium and atmosphere. Between 7 and 28 days following explantation, altered hippocampal morphology could not be detected despite a significant decrease in both MAP-2c and a mid-range tau isoform by 21 DIV. During the same period, lower GFAP expression was observed, and GFAP labeling suggested a migration of astrocytes to the slice-atmosphere interface. In contrast, levels of the synaptic proteins synaptophysin and PSD-95 were significantly increased, but GAP-43 was not. The preservation of myelinated axons and synapses, along with glial and endothelial cells, was confirmed by ultrastructural analysis. Furthermore, intranuclear inclusion bodies, which are associated with normal aging in vivo, were detected in the CA1 pyramidal layer in cultures older than 14 DIV. When OHSCs were maintained for approximately 3, 4, and 10 weeks, a rise and then fall in the expression of synaptophysin and, especially, PSD-95 were found, and the biphasic trend paralleled by significant changes in Schaffer collateral-evoked excitatory post-synaptic potentials from CA1 neurons. Our data not only describe changes in cytoskeletal, synaptic, and nuclear proteins related to the maintenance of interface OHSCs, but also emphasize the potential of the model for the study of age-related phenomena within the hippocampus.
Synaptic Activity and Triphenyltetrazolium Chloride Metabolism Are Correlated After Oxygen-glucose Deprivation in Acute, but Not Cultured, Hippocampal Slices
Brain Research. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17904535
The importance of the hippocampus to learning and memory has attracted significant attention to how the structure responds to damage. Although many studies have used either the acute hippocampal slice preparation or organotypic hippocampal slice cultures, little work has been done to determine if the choice of model is an important variable. The present study examined whether differences exist in how each model responds to a commonly studied ischemic-like paradigm, oxygen-glucose deprivation. Following the insult, synaptic activity was examined by recording orthodromically evoked CA1 subfield responses, while mitochondrial activity was assessed by spectrophotometric measurement of formazan produced by metabolism of 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride. The insult significantly decreased both synaptic and mitochondrial activity within acutely prepared slices, but a disparity existed between these measures in cultured slices. While evoked activity was greatly reduced by an insult of moderate duration, a much longer period was required to cause a comparable decrease in formazan production. Quantitative immunoblotting revealed that one possible explanation for the discrepancy was an elevated expression of astrocytes, which display resistance to hypoxia-aglycemia. Our data indicate that acutely prepared and cultured slices respond differently to ischemic-like challenge; therefore, assays examining viability in these models must consider their innate differences.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18845540
Tolerance to otherwise lethal cerebral ischemia in vivo or to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in vitro can be induced by prior transient exposure to N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA): preconditioning in this manner activates extrasynaptic and synaptic NMDA receptors and can require bringing neurons to the "brink of death." We considered if this stressful requirement could be minimized by the stimulation of primarily synaptic NMDA receptors. Subjecting cultured cortical neurons to prolonged elevations in electrical activity induced tolerance to OGD. Specifically, exposing cultures to a K(+)-channel blocker, 4-aminopyridine (20-2500 microm), and a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, bicuculline (50 microm) (4-AP/bic), for 1-2 days resulted in potent tolerance to normally lethal OGD applied up to 3 days later. Preconditioning induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and CREB which, along with Ca(2+) spiking and OGD tolerance, was eliminated by tetrodotoxin. Antagonists of NMDA receptors or L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (L-VGCCs) applied during preconditioning decreased Ca(2+) spiking, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and CREB, and OGD tolerance more effectively when combined, particularly at the lowest 4-AP concentration. Inhibiting ERK1/2 or Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMKs) also reduced Ca(2+) spiking and OGD tolerance. Preconditioning resulted in altered neuronal excitability for up to 3 days following 4-AP/bic washout, based on field potential recordings obtained from neurons cultured on 64-channel multielectrode arrays. Taken together, the data are consistent with action potential-driven co-activation of primarily synaptic NMDA receptors and L-VGCCs, resulting in parallel phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and CREB and involvement of CaMKs, culminating in a potent, prolonged but reversible, OGD-tolerant phenotype.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19753615
Interface devices such as integrated planar patch-clamp chips are being developed to study the electrophysiological activity of neuronal networks grown in vitro. The utility of such devices will be dependent upon the ability to align neurons with interface features on the chip by controlling neuronal placement and by guiding cell connectivity. In this paper, we present a strategy to accomplish this goal. Patterned chemical modification of SiN surfaces with poly-d-lysine transferred from PDMS stamps was used to promote adhesion and guidance of cryo-preserved primary rat cortical neurons. We demonstrate that these neurons can be positioned and grown over microhole features which will ultimately serve as patch-clamp interfaces on the chip.
A Novel Silicon Patch-clamp Chip Permits High-fidelity Recording of Ion Channel Activity from Functionally Defined Neurons
Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20648547
We report on a simple and high-yield manufacturing process for silicon planar patch-clamp chips, which allow low capacitance and series resistance from individually identified cultured neurons. Apertures are etched in a high-quality silicon nitride film on a silicon wafer; wells are opened on the backside of the wafer by wet etching and passivated by a thick deposited silicon dioxide film to reduce the capacitance of the chip and to facilitate the formation of a high-impedance cell to aperture seal. The chip surface is suitable for culture of neurons over a small orifice in the substrate with minimal leak current. Collectively, these features enable high-fidelity electrophysiological recording of transmembrane currents resulting from ion channel activity in cultured neurons. Using cultured Lymnaea neurons we demonstrate whole-cell current recordings obtained from a voltage-clamp stimulation protocol, and in current-clamp mode we report action potentials stimulated by membrane depolarization steps. Despite the relatively large size of these neurons, good temporal and spatial control of cell membrane voltage was evident. To our knowledge this is the first report of recording of ion channel activity and action potentials from neurons cultured directly on a planar patch-clamp chip. This interrogation platform has enormous potential as a novel tool to readily provide high-information content during pharmaceutical assays to investigate in vitro models of disease, as well as neuronal physiology and synaptic plasticity.
Biomedical Microdevices. Dec, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20694518
We present a polymer microchip capable of monitoring neuronal activity with a fidelity never before obtained on a planar patch-clamp device. Cardio-respiratory neurons Left Pedal Dorsal 1 (LPeD1) from mollusc Lymnaea were cultured on the microchip's polyimide surface for 2 to 4 hours. Cultured neurons formed high resistance seals (gigaseals) between the cell membrane and the surface surrounding apertures etched in the polyimide. Gigaseal formation was observed without applying external force, such as suction, on neurons. The formation of gigaseals, as well as the low access resistance and shunt capacitance values of the polymer microchip resulted in high-fidelity recordings. On-chip culture of neurons permitted, for the first time on a polymeric patch-clamp device, the recording of high fidelity physiological action potentials. Microfabrication of the hybrid poly(dimethylsiloxane)-polyimide (PDMS-PI) microchip is discussed, including a two-layer PDMS processing technique resulting in minimized shrinking variations.
Cell to Aperture Interaction in Patch-clamp Chips Visualized by Fluorescence Microscopy and Focused-ion Beam Sections
Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21391207
Patch-clamp is an important method to monitor the electrophysiological activity of cells and the role of pharmacological compounds on specific ion channel proteins. In recent years, planar patch-clamp chips have been developed as a higher throughput approach to the established glass-pipette method. However, proper conditions to optimize the high resistance cell-to-probe seals required to measure the small currents resulting from ion channel activity are still the subject of conjecture. Here, we report on the design of multiple-aperture (sieve) chips to rapidly facilitate assessment of cell-to-aperture interactions in statistically significant numbers. We propose a method to pre-screen the quality of seals based on a dye loading protocol through apertures in the chip and subsequent evaluation with fluorescence confocal microscopy. We also show the first scanning electron micrograph of a focused ion beam section of a cell in a patch-clamp chip aperture.
Journal of Neural Engineering. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21540486
Planar patch-clamp chip technology has been developed to enhance the assessment of novel compounds for therapeutic efficacy and safety. However, this technology has been limited to recording ion channels expressed in isolated suspended cells, making the study of ion channel function in synaptic transmission impractical. Recently, we developed single- and dual-recording site planar patch-clamp chips and demonstrated their capacity to record ion channel activity from neurons established in culture. Such capacity provides the opportunity to record from synaptically connected neurons cultured on-chip. In this study we reconstructed, on-chip, a simple synaptic circuit between cultured pre-synaptic visceral dorsal 4 neurons and post-synaptic left pedal dorsal 1 neurons isolated from the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis. Here we report the first planar patch-clamp chip recordings of synaptic phenomena from these paired neurons and pharmacologically demonstrate the cholinergic nature of this synapse. We also report simultaneous dual-site recordings from paired neurons, and demonstrate dedicated cytoplasmic perfusion of individual neurons via on-chip subterranean microfluidics. This is the first application of planar patch-clamp technology to examine synaptic communication.
Nutritional Neuroscience. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22005282
Choline is a micronutrient essential for the structural integrity of cellular membranes, and its presence at synapses follows either depolarization-induced pre-synaptic release or degradation of acetylcholine. Previous studies using whole-cell recording have shown that choline can modulate inhibitory input to hippocampal pyramidal neurons by acting upon nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) found on interneurons. However, little is known about how choline affects neuronal activity at the population level; therefore, we used extracellular recordings to assess its influence upon synaptic transmission in acutely prepared hippocampal slices. Choline caused a reversible depression of evoked field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner (10, 500, and 1000 µM). When applied after the induction of long-term potentiation, choline-mediated depression (CMD) was still observed, and potentiation returned on wash-out. Complete blockade of CMD could not be achieved with antagonists for the α7 nAChR, to which choline is a full agonist, but was possible with a general nAChR antagonist. The ability of choline to increase paired-pulse facilitation, and the inability of applied gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to mediate further depression of fEPSPs, suggests that the principal mechanism of choline's action was on the facilitation of neurotransmitter release. Our study provides evidence that choline can depress population-level activity, quite likely by facilitating the release of GABA from interneurons, and may thereby influence hippocampal function.
From Understanding Cellular Function to Novel Drug Discovery: the Role of Planar Patch-clamp Array Chip Technology
Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22007170
All excitable cell functions rely upon ion channels that are embedded in their plasma membrane. Perturbations of ion channel structure or function result in pathologies ranging from cardiac dysfunction to neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, to understand the functions of excitable cells and to remedy their pathophysiology, it is important to understand the ion channel functions under various experimental conditions - including exposure to novel drug targets. Glass pipette patch-clamp is the state of the art technique to monitor the intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons. However, this technique is labor intensive and has low data throughput. Planar patch-clamp chips, integrated into automated systems, offer high throughputs but are limited to isolated cells from suspensions, thus limiting their use in modeling physiological function. These chips are therefore not most suitable for studies involving neuronal communication. Multielectrode arrays (MEAs), in contrast, have the ability to monitor network activity by measuring local field potentials from multiple extracellular sites, but specific ion channel activity is challenging to extract from these multiplexed signals. Here we describe a novel planar patch-clamp chip technology that enables the simultaneous high-resolution electrophysiological interrogation of individual neurons at multiple sites in synaptically connected neuronal networks, thereby combining the advantages of MEA and patch-clamp techniques. Each neuron can be probed through an aperture that connects to a dedicated subterranean microfluidic channel. Neurons growing in networks are aligned to the apertures by physisorbed or chemisorbed chemical cues. In this review, we describe the design and fabrication process of these chips, approaches to chemical patterning for cell placement, and present physiological data from cultured neuronal cells.