TMS: Using the Theta-Burst Protocol to Explore Mechasnism of Plasticity in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism
In this article, we examine the effects of Theta-Burst TMS stimulation on cortical plasticity in individuals suffering from Fragile X syndrome and individuals on the autistic spectrum.
1Unit on Neural Circuits and Adaptive Behaviors, Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 2Department of Neuroscience, Brown University - National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, 3Section on Synaptic Pharmacology, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
Experience-dependent molecular changes in neurons are essential for the brain's ability to adapt in response to behavioral challenges. An in vivo two-photon imaging method is described here that allows the tracking of such molecular changes in individual cortical neurons through genetically encoded reporters.
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.
1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 2Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
Primary, human fetal brain-derived, multipotential progenitor cells proliferate in vitro while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into neurons and astrocytes. This work shows that neural progenitors can be induced to differentiate through stages of the oligodendrocytic lineage by conditioning with select growth factors.
Derivation of neuroepithelial precursors from embryonic stem (ES) cells using stromal cell-derived inducing activity (SDIA).
Spontaneous activity of developing neuronal networks can be measured using AM-ester forms of calcium-sensitive indicator dyes. Changes in intracellular calcium, indicating neuronal activation, are detected as transient changes in indicator fluorescence with one- or two-photon imaging. This protocol can be adapted for a range of developmentally-dependent neuronal networks in vitro.
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.
An Investigation of the Effects of Sports-related Concussion in Youth Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System
1Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, 2Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 4Bloorview Kids Rehab, 5Toronto Rehab, 6Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 7Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
This article provides an overview of a multi-modal approach to mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis and recovery in youth. This approach combines neuropsychological testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System to monitor the relationship between head impacts and brain activity during cognitive testing.
1Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory, University School of Medicine, 3Emory University School of Medicine
This protocol provides the necessary information for setting up, caring for, recording from and electrically stimulating cultures on MEAs. In vitro networks provide a means for asking physiologically relevant questions at the network and cellular levels leading to a better understanding of brain function and dysfunction.
Understanding the function of the vertebrate central nervous system requires recordings from many neurons because cortical function arises on the level of populations of neurons. Here we describe an optical method to record suprathreshold neural activity with single-cell and single-spike resolution, dithered random-access scanning. This method records somatic fluorescence calcium signals from up to 100 neurons with high temporal resolution. A maximum-likelihood algorithm deconvolves the underlying suprathreshold neural activity from the somatic fluorescence calcium signals. This method reliably detects spikes with high detection efficiency and a low rate of false positives and can be used to study neural populations in vitro and in vivo.
We describe the design and assembly of miniaturized headphones suitable for replacing a songbird’s natural auditory feedback with a manipulated acoustic signal. Online sound processing hardware is used to manipulate song output, introduce real-time errors in auditory feedback via the headphones, and drive vocal motor learning.
This article describes a tissue transplantation technique that was designed to test the signaling and patterning properties of surface cephalic ectoderm during craniofacial development.
To cultivate neural crest stem cells (NCSC) in vitro, a special medium (NCSCM) is required. Essential part of NCSCM is chick embryo extract (CEE). We here describe accurate techniques to produce a maximized amount of pure and high quality CEE, including details as the isolation, maceration, centrifugation, and filtration processes.
We provide a practical guide for delivering tracers in vivo and use the spinocerebellar pathway as a model system to demonstrate essential steps for successful neuronal circuit analysis in mice. We describe in detail our versatile tracing protocol that exploits wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) conjugated to Alexa fluorophores.
Adult-born neurons expressing ChR2 can be manipulated in slice electrophysiological preparations in order to examine their contribution towards the function of olfactory neural circuits.
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology
1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive tool to gain insight on the physiology and function of the human nervous system. Here, we present our TMS techniques to study cortical excitability of the upper limb and lumbar musculature.
1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 3Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
A simple and reliable method on isolation and culture of neural stem cells from discarded human fetal cortical tissue is described. Cultures derived from known human neurological disorders can be used for characterization of pathological cellular and molecular processes, as well as provide a platform to assess pharmacological efficacy.
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.
1Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2Neuroscience Graduate Group, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
A multi-faceted approach to investigating functional changes to hippocampal circuitry is explained. Electrophysiological techniques are described along with the injury protocol, behavioral testing and regional dissection method. The combination of these techniques can be applied in similar fashion for other brain regions and scientific questions.
Imaging Analysis of Neuron to Glia Interaction in Microfluidic Culture Platform (MCP)-based Neuronal Axon and Glia Co-culture System
This study describes the procedures of setting up a novel neuronal axon and (astro)glia co-culture platform. In this co-culture system, manipulation of direct interaction between a single axon (and single glial cell) becomes feasible, allowing mechanistic analysis of the mutual neuron to glial signaling.
Numerous recent studies have identified mutations in synaptic proteins associated with brain pathologies. Primary cultured cortical neurons offer great flexibility in examining the effects of these disease-associated proteins on dendritic spine morphology and motility.
Behavioural Pharmacology in Classical Conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Response in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
We demonstrate how to implement a behavioral pharmacology method in an appetitive olfactory conditioning paradigm in honeybees (Apis mellifera) by systemic application of drugs. This method allows investigation of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in a simple and reliable way.
Perceptual and Category Processing of the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis' Dimension of Human Likeness: Some Methodological Issues
Investigation of the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis and affective experience requires an understanding of the hypothesis' dimension of human likeness (DHL). This protocol allows representation of the DHL and examination of categorical perception. Use of the same stimuli and fMRI to distinguish brain regions responsive to physical and category change is illustrated.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
Selective Viral Transduction of Adult-born Olfactory Neurons for Chronic in vivo Optogenetic Stimulation
Adult-born neurons of the olfactory bulb can be optogenetically controlled using Channelrhodopsin2-expressing lentiviral injection in the rostral migratory stream and chronic photostimulation with an implanted miniature LED.
1College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas at Austin, 2The Waggoner Center of Addiction and Alcohol Research, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 4Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 5Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Drug self-administration and ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) are used as behavioral assessments in animal research, but rarely in combination. The purpose of this article is to describe the advantages of recording USVs during drug self-administration procedures to assess affective responses to drug experience.
A combinatorial functional screening method for gaining insights into the impacts of the molecular composition of microenvironments on cellular functions is described. The method takes advantage of existing microarray-based technologies to generate arrays of defined combinatorial microenvironments that support cell adhesion and functional analysis.
Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits
We demonstrate variations of the extracellular multi-unit recording technique to characterize odor-evoked responses in the first three stages of the invertebrate olfactory pathway. These techniques can easily be adapted to examine ensemble activity in other neural systems as well.
A fast and inexpensive method for the behavioral determination of hearing parameters like hearing thresholds, hearing impairments or phantom perceptions (subjective tinnitus) is described. It uses pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and can be easily implemented in a personal computer using a programmable AD/DA-converter and a piezo sensor.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
Preparation of Synaptoneurosomes from Mouse Cortex using a Discontinuous Percoll-Sucrose Density Gradient
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin, 2Department of Biochemistry, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin
A method to prepare translationally active, intact synaptoneurosomes (SNs) from mouse brain cortex is described. The method uses a discontinuous Percoll-sucrose density gradient allowing for the quick preparation of active SNs.
The rotorod test is used to assess motor status in the walking movement of hemi-Parkinson analogue rats.
We have developed a computer program to analyze neuronal morphology. In combination with two existing open source analysis tools, our program performs Sholl analysis and determines the number of neurites, branch points, and neurite tips. The analyses are performed so that local changes in neurite morphology can be observed.
This is a protocol to prepare and maintain a neocortical slice preparation in organotypic culture for the purpose of making electrical recordings from pyramidal neurons.
As manual dexterity is a prerogative mainly of primates, behavioral tasks have been developed in macaque monkeys. Four reach and grasp prehension tasks, measuring hand manipulation ability and force, allow to establish functional recovery after a lesion of the central nervous system and to test the effect of a treatment.
Detection of Protein Palmitoylation in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons by Immunoprecipitation and Acyl-Biotin Exchange (ABE)
The reversible addition of palmitate to proteins is an important regulator of intracellular protein trafficking. This is of particular interest in neurons where many synaptic proteins are palmitoylated. We utilize a simple biochemical method to detect palmitoylated proteins in cultured neurons, which can be adapted for multiple cell types and tissues.
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.
Efficient Derivation of Human Neuronal Progenitors and Neurons from Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cells with Small Molecule Induction
1San Diego Regenerative Medicine Institute, 2Xcelthera, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School, 4Division of SCI Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, 5Program in Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 6La Jolla IVF
We have established a protocol for induction of neuroblasts direct from pluripotent human embryonic stem cells maintained under defined conditions with small molecules, which enables derivation of a large supply of human neuronal progenitors and neuronal cell types in the developing CNS for neural repair.
We describe a protocol for using bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) or Matrigel to selectively induce dendritic growth in primary sympathetic neurons dissociated from the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of perinatal rats.
The VisioTracker is an automated system for the quantitative analysis of visual performance of larval and small adult fish based on the recording of eye movements. It features full control over visual stimulus properties and real-time analysis, enabling high-throughput research in fields such as visual system development and function, pharmacology, neural circuit studies and sensorimotor integration.
1Département Nociception et Douleur, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 2Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Columbia University, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
Viral vectors allow for targeted gene manipulation. We demonstrate a method for conditional gene expression or ablation in the mouse spinal cord, using stereotaxic injection of a viral vector into the dorsal horn, a prominent site of synaptic contact between primary somatosensory afferents and neurons of the central nervous system.
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 Fully Automated and Highly Versatile System for Testing Multi-cognitive Functions and Recording Neuronal Activities in Rodents
In this report, we present a fully automated and highly versatile system capable of simultaneously testing multi-cognitive behaviors and recording neuronal activities for rodents.
Mapping the After-effects of Theta Burst Stimulation on the Human Auditory Cortex with Functional Imaging
Auditory processing is the basis of speech and music-related processing. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been used successfully to study cognitive, sensory and motor systems but has rarely been applied to audition. Here we investigated TMS combined with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to understand the functional organization of auditory cortex.
The Morris water maze is a well-accepted tool used to document the involvement of the hippocampus in a behavioral task.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
This paper introduces an approach of combining laser scanning photostimulation with whole cell recordings in transgenic mice expressing GFP in limited inhibitory neuron populations. The technique allows for extensive mapping and quantitative analysis of local synaptic circuits of specific inhibitory cortical neurons.
Subcutaneous Administration of Muscarinic Antagonists and Triple-Immunostaining of the Levator Auris Longus Muscle in Mice
1Biology Department, Arcadia University, 2Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, 3Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine
We describe procedures for repeated administration of inhibitors of muscarinic signaling to the levator auris longus (LAL) muscle of young adult mice and for subsequent immunostaining of its neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in wholemounts. The LAL muscle has unique advantages for revealing in vivo pharmacological effects on NMJs.