Following antigen exposure, subpopulations of activated B cells undergo a process known as class switch recombination (CSR) to produce antibody isotypes with distinct effector functions. The protocol outlined in this report explains how CSR can be induced and analyzed in vitro for the purposes of studying B cell function.
Assessing Somatic Hypermutation in Ramos B Cells after Overexpression or Knockdown of Specific Genes
We describe how to perform retroviral or lentiviral infections of overexpression or shRNA-containing constructs in the human Ramos B-cell line and how to measure somatic hypermutation in these cells.
An efficient system of structure and function analysis of a gene in an ex vivo culture of splenic B-lymphocytes is described. This method takes advantage of recombinant retroviral production in a helper free, ecotrophic packaging cell line. Stable, heritable expression of a gene of interest within primary lymphocytes is achieved leading to generation of surface antibodies on B cells undergoing class switch recombination.
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.
Multiphoton microscopy allows control of low energy photons with deep optical penetration and reduced phototoxicity. We describe the use of this technology for live cell labeling in zebrafish embryos. This protocol can be readily adapted for photo-induction of various light-responsive molecules.
A methodology to estimate ventricular fiber orientations from in vivo images of patient heart geometries for personalized modeling is described. Validation of the methodology performed using normal and failing canine hearts demonstrate that that there are no significant differences between estimated and acquired fiber orientations at a clinically observable level.
A Simple and Efficient Method to Detect Nuclear Factor Activation in Human Neutrophils by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 3Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in blood. Neutrophils possess transcriptionally regulated functions such as production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibition of apoptosis. These functions can be studied with the method presented here, which allows detection and quantification of nuclear factors by flow cytometry in isolated nuclei
The sialidase assay is a simple technical approach that will elucidate novel molecular mechanism(s) of TLR sensors of microbial infections and involvement in inflammatory diseases at the receptor level on the cell surface of live macrophages.
This work details the preparation of 3D fibrin scaffolds for culturing and differentiating plutipotent stem cells. Such scaffolds can be used to screen the effects of various biological compounds on stem cell behavior as well as modified to contain drug delivery systems.
Assessment of Mitochondrial Functions and Cell Viability in Renal Cells Overexpressing Protein Kinase C Isozymes
The effects of activation of protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes on mitochondrial functions associated with respiration and oxidative phosphorylation and on cell viability are described. The approach adapts adenoviral technique to selectively overexpress PKC isozymes in primary cell culture and a variety of assays to determine mitochondrial functions and energy status of the cell.
1Department of Dermatology, University of Freiburg, 2Kepler High School Freiburg, 3Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg
In the animal model described in our present work, purified IgG antibodies against a stretch of 200 amino acids (aa 757-967) of collagen VII are injected repeatedly into mice reproducing the blistering phenotype as well as the histo- and immunopathological features characteristic to human epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA)1.
Optogenetic techniques have made it possible to study the contribution of specific neurons to behavior. We describe a method in larval zebrafish for activating single somatosensory neurons expressing a channelrhodopsin variant (ChEF) with a diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser and recording the elicited behaviors with a high-speed video camera.
Toxoplasma gondii Cyst Wall Formation in Activated Bone Marrow-derived Macrophages and Bradyzoite Conditions
Toxoplasma gondii converts to a cyst form in response to environmental stresses, which can be mimicked in tissue culture models. This video demonstrates techniques to examine cyst wall formation by activating bone marrow-derived macrophages or changing growth medium pH in fibroblast cells.
Genetically encoded optogenetic tools enable noninvasive manipulation of specific neurons in the Drosophila brain. Such tools can identify neurons whose activation is sufficient to elicit or suppress particular behaviors. Here we present a method for activating Channelrhodopsin2 that is expressed in targeted neurons in freely walking flies.
Artificial Antigen Presenting Cell (aAPC) Mediated Activation and Expansion of Natural Killer T Cells
Here we describe a method for activating and expanding human NKT cells from bulk T cell populations using artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC). The use of CD1d-based aAPC provides a standardized method for generating high numbers of functional NKT cells.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
Real-time Digital Imaging of Leukocyte-endothelial Interaction in Ischemia-reperfusion Injury (IRI) of the Rat Cremaster Muscle
Digital intravital epifluorescence microscopy of postcapillary venules in the cremasteric microcirculation is a convenient method to gain insights into leukocyte-endothelial interaction in vivo in ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) of striated muscle tissue. We here provide a detailed protocol to safely perform the technique and discuss its applications and limitations.
Affinity Precipitation of Active Rho-GEFs Using a GST-tagged Mutant Rho Protein (GST-RhoA(G17A)) from Epithelial Cell Lysates
1Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 2Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 3Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The method presented here describes an assay to follow activation of RhoA specific GDP/GTP Exchange Factors (GEFs) in cultured cells by making use of a mutant RhoA GST fusion protein that has high affinity for activated GEFs. GEFs are precipitated from cell lysates, detected by Western blotting and quantified by densitometry.
A Chitosan Based, Laser Activated Thin Film Surgical Adhesive, 'SurgiLux': Preparation and Demonstration
The fabrication of a novel, flexible thin film surgical adhesive from FDA approved ingredients, chitosan and indocyanine green is described. Bonding of this adhesive to collagenous tissue through a simple activation process with a low-powered infra-red laser is demonstrated.
Real-time Imaging of Heterotypic Platelet-neutrophil Interactions on the Activated Endothelium During Vascular Inflammation and Thrombus Formation in Live Mice
Here we report an experimental technique of fluorescence intravital microscopy to visualize heterotypic platelet-neutrophil interactions on the activated endothelium during vascular inflammation and thrombus formation in live mice. This microscopic technology will be valuable to study the molecular mechanism of vascular disease and to test pharmacologic agents under pathophysiological conditions.
Harvesting Murine Alveolar Macrophages and Evaluating Cellular Activation Induced by Polyanhydride Nanoparticles
Herein, we describe protocols for harvesting murine alveolar macrophages, which are resident innate immune cells in the lung, and examining their activation in response to co-culture with polyanhydride nanoparticles.
Preparation of Cell-lines for Conditional Knockdown of Gene Expression and Measurement of the Knockdown Effects on E4orf4-Induced Cell Death
Contribution of the ACF chromatin remodeling factor to E4orf4-induced cell death was measured. The protocol includes selection of cell clones in which doxycycline treatment induces conditional knockdown of the ACF subunits Acf1 and SNF2h, and use of the DAPI assay to measure E4orf4-induced cell death in the inducible cell lines.
Imaging G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated Signaling Events that Control Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum
Here, we describe detailed live cell imaging methods for investigating chemotaxis. We present fluorescence microscopic methods to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling events in migrating cells. Measurement of signaling events permits us to further understand how a GPCR-signaling network achieves gradient sensing of chemoattractants and controls directional migration of eukaryotic cells.
Dual Electrophysiological Recordings of Synaptically-evoked Astroglial and Neuronal Responses in Acute Hippocampal Slices
The preparation of acute brain slices from isolated hippocampi, as well as the simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons in stratum radiatum during stimulation of schaffer collaterals is described. The pharmacological isolation of astroglial potassium and glutamate transporter currents is demonstrated.
PRP as a New Approach to Prevent Infection: Preparation and In vitro Antimicrobial Properties of PRP
1Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, 2Department of Orthopaedics, Stem Cell Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, 3WVNano Initiative, 4Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center
Implant-associated infection is a significant clinical complication. This study describes an approach using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to prevent implant-associated infections, presents the protocol for preparing PRP with constant platelet concentration, and reports the newly identified antimicrobial properties of PRP and related protocols for examining such antimicrobial properties in vitro.
We use magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) to map brain areas involved in the processing of simple sensory stimuli.
In this video, we demonstrate the procedure of CD40-activation and expansion of murine B cells from splenocytes of C57BL/6 mice, which can be used as a model antigen-presenting cell (APC) to study induction of immunity.
Application of a NMDA Receptor Conductance in Rat Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons Using the Dynamic Clamp Technique
In this video, we demonstrate how to apply a conductance into a dopaminergic neuron recorded in the whole cell configuration in rat brain slices. This technique is called the dynamic clamp.
A method is described to photoactivate single cells containing a caged fluorescent protein using two-photon absorption from a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser oscillator. To fate map the photoactivated cell, immunohistochemistry is used. This technique can be applied to any cell type.
Antigen presentation in secondary lymphoid organs by dendritic cells is crucial for the initiation of the T cell mediated adaptive immune response. Here we demonstrate the culture of bone marrow derived murine dendritic cells, activation, and labeling for 2-photon imaging.
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.
Imaging Odor-Evoked Activities in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb using Optical Reflectance and Autofluorescence Signals
This article presents the protocols of intrinsic optical signals and flavoproteins autofluorescence signals imaging to map odor-evoked activities at the surface of the olfactory bulb in mice.
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.
MazeSuite is a complete toolset to prepare, present and analyze navigational and spatial experiments. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) is an optical brain imaging technique that enables noninvasive and portable monitoring of cerebral blood oxygenation changes. This paper summarizes collective use of MazeSuite and fNIR within a cognitive processing learning paradigm.
We report development of a negative selection system in E. histolytica based upon transgenic expression of a chimeric protein (FCU1) and selection with the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine. The FCU1 protein is a fusion of yeast cytosine deaminase and uracil phosphoribosyltransferase. Expression of FCU1 resulted in increased E. histolytica sensitivity towards 5-fluorocytosine.
We present our optimized high-throughput nucleofection protocol as an efficient way of transfecting primary human monocyte-derived dendritic cells with either plasmid DNA or siRNA without causing cell maturation. We further provide evidence for successful siRNA silencing of targeted gene RIG-I at both the mRNA and protein levels.
This article shows an optimized procedure for imaging of the neural substrates of auditory stimulation in the songbird brain using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). It describes the preparation of the sound stimuli, the positioning of the subject and the acquisition and subsequent analysis of the fMRI data.
1UCSF Diabetes Center and Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California, San Francisco, 2Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 3National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, Bergen, Norway
Primary white preadipocytes isolated from white adipose tissues in mice can be differentiated into beige/brite cells. Presented here is a reliable cellular model system to study the molecular regulation of "browning" of white fat.
Drosophila larvae are able to associate odor stimuli with gustatory reward. Here we describe a simple behavioral paradigm that allows the analysis of appetitive associative olfactory learning.
High-Resolution Endocardial and Epicardial Optical Mapping in a Sheep Model of Stretch-Induced Atrial Fibrillation
This report provides a detailed description of the methodology and results of simultaneous endocardial and epicardial optical mapping of electrical excitation in the intact left atrium of a Langendorff-perfused sheep heart during stretch-induced atrial fibrillation.
We developed a new protocol to improve efficiency of in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons. The differentiated ES cells acquired motor neurons features as evidenced by expression of neuronal and motor neuron markers using immunohistochemical techniques.
We provide a reproducible method to induce type 1 diabetes (T1D) in mice within two weeks by the adoptive transfer of islet antigen-specific, primary CD4+ T cells.
CD4+ Regulatory T cells are potent immune-modulators and serve important functions in immune homeostasis. The paucity of these cells in peripheral blood makes functional studies challenging, specifically in the context of HIV-1-infection. We here describe a method to isolate and expand functional CD4+ Tregs from peripheral blood from HIV-1-infected individuals.
Correlating Behavioral Responses to fMRI Signals from Human Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Cognitive Processes Using Task Analysis
The goal of our research is to correlate behavior to brain activity. Accurate behavioral measures and imaging techniques allow us to elucidate brain-behavior relationships.
Here we propose simple methods to test and evaluate the presence of reactive oxygen species in cells.
Dorsal Column Steerability with Dual Parallel Leads using Dedicated Power Sources: A Computational Model
Using a mathematical model of spinal cord stimulation, we found that a multi-source system with independent power sources for each contact can target more central points of stimulation on the dorsal column (100 vs 3) and has 50-fold more field steering resolution (0.02mm vs 1mm) than a single-source system.
Measuring Cation Transport by Na,K- and H,K-ATPase in Xenopus Oocytes by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: An Alternative to Radioisotope Assays
We describe a method to quantify the activity of K+-countertransporting P-type ATPases by heterologous expression of the enzymes in Xenopus oocytes and measuring Rb+ or Li+ uptake into individual cells by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The method is a sensitive and safe alternative to radioisotope flux experiments facilitating complex kinetic studies.
Non-invasive measurements of neural activity patterns in freely behaving animals are obtained by combining neurophysiological recordings with high speed videography.
Here we describe a method for the isolation of hepatic stellate cells from mouse liver. For stellate cell purification, mouse livers are digested in situ and in vitro by pronase-collagenase treatment prior to density gradient centrifugation. This technique yields highly pure hepatic stellate cells.
Infection of mice with an Adenovirus expressing the major human autoantigen cytochrome P450 2D6 (hCYP2D6) recognized by sera of patients suffering from type 2 autoimmune hepatitis results in a persistent form of autoimmune-mediated liver disease characterized by extensive hepatitis, fibrosis and generation of a CYP2D6-specific immune response.