A simple method is provided that allows for the rapid extraction and analysis of multiple plant hormones from small tissue samples. The procedure uses vapor phase extraction as the solemn purification step. Samples are analyzed by GC/MS with chemical ionization that produces mainly (M+1)+ ions.
Single-cell electroporation (SCE) is a specialized technique allowing delivery of DNA or other macromolecules into individual cells within intact tissue, including in vivo preparations. Here we detail the procedure for SCE of a fluorescent dye or plasmid DNA into neurons within the intact brain of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.
The goal of this technique is to assess serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmitter function in the live and free-breathing animal with pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) and an intravenous challenge with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine.
Separating Beads and Cells in Multi-channel Microfluidic Devices Using Dielectrophoresis and Laminar Flow
1Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is an effective method to manipulate cells. Printed circuit boards (PCB) can provide inexpensive, reusable and effective electrodes for contact-free cell manipulation within microfluidic devices. By combining PDMS-based microfluidic channels with coverslips on PCBs, we demonstrate bead and cell manipulation and separation within multichannel microfluidic devices.
A protocol to detect trichothecenes (mycotoxins of concern for human health) using a newly developed screening method based on a competitive immunochemical method and a final electrochemical detection is demonstrated.
We describe a methodology combining automated cell culturing with high-content imaging to visualize and quantify multiple cellular processes and structures, in a high-throughput manner. Such methods can aid in the further functional annotation of genomes as well as identify disease gene networks and potential drug targets.
1Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, California State University Channel Islands, 2Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
A three-dimensional clonogenic assay that allows pancreatic-like progenitors to differentiate into insulin-expressing colonies is described. This method takes advantage of semi-solid media containing methylcellulose, Matrigel and growth factors, in which single progenitors proliferate and differentiate in vitro, permitting quantification of the number of functional progenitors in a population.
Using fine tip micropipettes we inject plasmid DNA into subdomains of chicken somites or neural tubes. The concentration of the plasmid is adjusted to generate single transfected cells. We then allow the cells to develop into clonal populations.
This article demonstrates how to conduct electrophysiological recordings of synaptic responses on the extensor muscle in the walking leg of a crayfish and how the nerve terminals are visualized to show the gross morphological differences of high- and low-output nerve terminals.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
The IonFlux Automated Patch Clamp System provides high throughput, cost-effective ion channel screening for a wide range of electrophysiology applications. Fast compound exchange, low cost per data point, and convenient well plate formats make the system ideal for both ligand- and voltage-gated ion channel targets. The IonFlux HT provides an industry-leading 10,000 data points per day, while the IonFlux 16 provides true automated patch clamp performance for about the cost of a manual patch clamp rig.
Evaluation of colonic motility in the guinea pig distal colon with the Gastrointestinal Motility Monitor (GIMM) is a straightforward and simple to learn approach to quantitatively evaluate propulsive motility in the gastrointestinal tract.
In this video and supplemental material, we show a protocol for chronic in vivo imaging of the intact brain using a thinned-skull preparation.
A methodology to investigate the neural mechanisms that support aware and unaware memory processes during fear conditioning is described. This method monitors blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging, skin conductance response, and unconditioned stimulus expectancy during Pavlovian fear conditioning to assess the neural correlates of distinct memory processes.
A rapid and affordable way to extract quality malaria parasite and vector DNA from mosquito specimens is described. Capitalizing on chelating properties of Chelex resin, the simple method enables genotyping of malaria parasites in mosquito mid-gut and salivary gland phases, as well as molecular identification of the Anopheles sibling species by PCR.
Shidham's method for preparation of cell blocks with AV-marker from cytology specimens containing individually scattered cells and small cell groups.
Retraining abnormal movement patterns following injury or disease is a key component of physical rehabilitation. Recent advances in technology have permitted accurate assessment of movement during a variety of tasks, with near instantaneous quantification of results. This provides new opportunities for modification of faulty movement patterns in real time.
1Department of Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, 2Department of Gene and Protein Biomarkers, GenProMarkers, Inc.
We describe a rat model of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that reveals the persistent alterations in neuroendocrine function and the delayed long-term, exaggerated fear response, characteristic of PTSD patients. The animal model and methods described here are useful for correlating biomarkers in brain nuclei, which are mechanistic but cannot be measured in patients, with biomarkers in peripheral white blood cells, which can.
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
In order to evaluate novel therapeutic paradigms for the treatment of glioma, physiological relevant models are essential. We utilize an implantable guide screw procedure for establishment of intracranial xenograft models that is more rapid and safer than stereotactic approaches.
1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anatomy, Washington University School of Medicine, 3Department of Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Glutamatergic synapses can switch from an active mode to a silent mode. We demonstrate that presynaptic activity status in dissociated culture of rodent neurons is visualized using a fixable form of the FM1-43 dye to visualize active synapses and immunostaining with vGluT-1 antibody to visualize all glutamate synapses.
A procedure for liquid-based culturing and dispensing of C. elegans strains expressing fluorescent reporter proteins is described that does not require expensive sorting equipment. This approach can be applied to numerous inducible C. elegans genes for drug discovery or biosensing of contaminants.
1Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, 2Neurosurgery Research Laboratory, Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Intracranial implantation of GL261 cells into C57BL/6 mice produces malignant gliomas that recapitulate many of the hallmarks of human glioblastoma multiforme. We used GL261 cells stably expressing luciferase to allow us to use in vivo imaging to follow tumor progression. The surgery and 3D in vivo imaging are demonstrated.
Plant viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are promising platforms for applications in biomedicine. Here, we describe the procedures for plant VNP propagation, purification, characterization, and bioconjugation. Finally, we show the application of VNPs for tumor homing and imaging using a mouse xenograft model and fluorescence imaging.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
An Organotypic Slice Assay for High-Resolution Time-Lapse Imaging of Neuronal Migration in the Postnatal Brain
This protocol describes an organotypic slice assay optimized for the postnatal brain and high-resolution time-lapse imaging of neuroblast migration in the rostral migratory stream.
This protocol outlines the simulation, fabrication and characterization of THz metamaterial absorbers. Such absorbers, when coupled with an appropriate sensor, have applications in THz imaging and spectroscopy.
Human Neuroendocrine Tumor Cell Lines as a Three-Dimensional Model for the Study of Human Neuroendocrine Tumor Therapy
1Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation, 2The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 3School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
We present a simple agarose overlay platform to grow 3D multicellular spheroids using neuroendocrine cancer cell lines. This method provides a very convenient way to examine the effect of therapeutic drugs on the neuroendocrine tumor cells. It could also help us establish human neuroendocrine tumor spheroids for cancer therapy.
Membrane Potentials, Synaptic Responses, Neuronal Circuitry, Neuromodulation and Muscle Histology Using the Crayfish: Student Laboratory Exercises
The experiments demonstrate an easy approach for students to gain experience in examining muscle structure, synaptic responses, the effects of ion gradients and permeability on membrane potentials. Also, a sensory-CNS-motor-muscle circuit is presented to show a means to test effects of compounds on a neuronal circuit.
1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Science Centre, 3Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University, 4Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group, London Health Science Centre
We present a novel approach to quantify nanoparticle localization in the vasculature of human xenografted tumors using dynamic, real-time intravital imaging in an avian embryo model.
We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
Using RNA-mediated Interference Feeding Strategy to Screen for Genes Involved in Body Size Regulation in the Nematode C. elegans
1Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City Universtiy of New York (CUNY), 2Department of Biology, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY), 3Biochemistry Program, The Graduate Center, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY)
We demonstrate how to use the RNAi feeding technique to knock down target genes and score body size phenotype in C. elegans. This method could be used for a large scale screen to identify potential genetic components of interest, such as those involved in body size regulation by DBL-1/TGF-β signaling.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR 631, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6102, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 3Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille University, 4École Centrale Marseille, Technopôle de Château-Gombert, 5Institut Fresnel, Aix-Marseille University, 6Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6133, Aix-Marseille University
Multiple-Target Tracing is a homemade algorithm developed for tracking individually labeled molecules within the plasma membrane of living cells. Efficiently detecting, estimating and tracing molecules over time at high-density provide a user-friendly, comprehensive tool to investigate nanoscale membrane dynamics.
Therapeutic Gene Delivery and Transfection in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells using Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-targeted Gelatin Nanoparticles
Type B gelatin-based engineered nanovectors system (GENS) was developed for systemic gene delivery and transfection in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. By modification with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) specific peptide on the surface of nanparticles, they could target on EGFR receptor and release plasmid under reducing environment, such as high intracellular glutathione concentrations.
The primary purpose of this experiment is to understand how primary sensory neurons convey information of joint movements and positions as proprioceptive information for an animal. An additional objective of this report is present the anatomy of the preparation by dissection and viewing of neurons under a dissecting microscope.
In this paper, we describe a useful method to study ligand-gated ion channel function in neurons of acutely isolated brain slices. This method involves the use of a drug-filled micropipette for local application of drugs to neurons recorded using standard patch clamp techniques.
A Video Demonstration of Preserved Piloting by Scent Tracking but Impaired Dead Reckoning After Fimbria-Fornix Lesions in the Rat
In a piloting scent tracking task, the ability of the rats to return to a refuge with food using visual an odor trail or using dead reckoning in infrared light, the integrated record of previous movements, demonstrates that the hippocampus is necessary for dead reckoning.
Neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging have become increasingly useful in characterizing the cognitive and neural deficits in autism. An examination of brain connectivity in autism at a network level along with adaptations for scanning children with developmental disabilities is presented.
A versatile plasma lithography technique has been developed to generate stable surface patterns for guiding cellular attachment. This technique can be applied to create cell networks including those that mimic natural tissues and has been used for studying several, distinct cell types.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
Analyzing Cellular Internalization of Nanoparticles and Bacteria by Multi-spectral Imaging Flow Cytometry
In this article, we describe a method utilizing multi-spectral imaging flow cytometry to quantify the internalization of polyanhydride nanoparticles or bacteria by RAW 264.7 cells.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends on adaptor proteins that coordinate cargo selection and clathrin coat assembly. Here we describe procedures to study adaptor-clathrin physical interaction and live cell imaging approaches using as a model the yeast endocytic adaptor protein Sla1p.
We describe a method of measuring binding energy, expressible as tissue surface tension, between cells within 3D tissue-like aggregates. Differences in tissue surface tension have been demonstrated to correlate with invasiveness of lung, muscle, and brain tumors, and are fundamental determinants of establishing spatial relationships between different cell types.
We use the patch-clamp technique to measure GABA-activated single-channel currents (GABAA channels, GABAA receptors) and the synaptic and tonic currents they generate in neurons. Activation of the channels decreases neuronal excitability in health and disease 1,2,3,4.
A vertical, T-maze olfactometer is described for assaying the behavioral response of arthropods. The olfactometer allows the experimenter to measure choices performed by test subjects when subjected to two potential odor fields. Both attraction to and repulsion from odorants can be measured with this device.
In order to study the changes of nociceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) in painful neuropathies (PN), we developed protocols that could directly examine three-dimensional morphological changes observed in nociceptive IENFs. Three-dimensional analysis of IENFs has the potential to evaluate the morphological changes of IENF in PN.
We have identified the placenta as a major hematopoietic organ during development. We found that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are both generated and expanded in the placenta in unique microenvironmental niches. Here, we describe experimental techniques required for isolation and visualization of HSCs in the mouse placenta.
This video demonstrates how to measure cell invasion through cell culture inserts using a fluorescence-based methodology.
We describe a method for the affinity-tagged purification of recombinant proteins using liquid-handling robotics. This method is generally applicable to the small-scale purification of soluble His-tagged proteins in a high-throughput format.