An accurate, short, sophisticated and cheap method is described that assesses telomere length in multiple tissues and species using qRT-PCR. In addition, we will describe a simple assay to assess telomerase activity as a complementary backbone test for telomere length.
Here we present a protocol for performing solid plate-based dietary restriction in C. elegans with killed bacteria.
Visualization of Mitochondrial Respiratory Function using Cytochrome C Oxidase / Succinate Dehydrogenase (COX/SDH) Double-labeling Histochemistry
The cytochrome c oxidase/sodium dehydrogenase (COX/SDH) double-labeling method allows for direct visualization of mitochondrial respiratory enzyme deficiencies in fresh-frozen tissue sections. This is a straightforward histochemical technique and is useful in investigating mitochondrial diseases, aging, and aging-related disorders.
We describe the first endurance training protocol for an important genetic model species, Drosophila melanogaster, and outline several assays to chart improvements in mobility following training.
The current article describes the basics of multivariate analysis and contrasts it to the more commonly used voxel-wise univariate analysis. Both types of analysis are applied to a clinical-neuroscience data set. Supplementary split-half simulations show better replication of the multivariate results in independent data sets.
In this protocol we present a method to measure Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan in 96 well microtiter plates.
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.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
The dissection technique illustrates evisceration of the vitreous, retina, and lens from the mouse eye, separation by centrifugation, and characterization with protein assays.
A thermal tumor ablation procedure is described. The entire procedure is detailed, including pretreatment planning and imaging studies, anesthesia, adjuvant techniques to facilitate a percutaneous approach, imaging guidance of the ablation device to the tumor, thermal treatment, post-treatment care and follow-up.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
1Centre of Excellence in Neuromics, CHUM Research Center and the Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal, 2Center of Excellence in Neuromics, CHU Sainte Justine and CHUM Notre-Dame Research Centers, Universite de Montreal, 3Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal
Molecular genetic strategy for finding de novo mutations causing common disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
1Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University, 2Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 3Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 4Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa
This surgical technique illustrates the injection of gene therapy vectors and stem cells into the subretinal space of the mouse eye.
Voice disorders are debilitating in aging and Parkinson disease. The ultrasonic vocalizations of rats, also affected by these conditions, can be used to study these voice disorders, their neural substrates, and the nature of functional recovery with behavioral intervention.
This paper illustrates an innovative visual approach (photovoice or photo-elicitation) to achieve fair process in clinical care for patients living with chronic health conditions, illuminate gaps in clinical knowledge, forge better therapeutic relationships, and identify patient-centered goals and possibilities for healing.
Application of a C. elegans Dopamine Neuron Degeneration Assay for the Validation of Potential Parkinson's Disease Genes
This video demonstrates how to use C. elegans to assess dopaminergic neuron neurodegeneration as a model for Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, genetic screens are used to identify factors that either enhance degeneration or are neuroprotective.
We are presenting an in vivo assay to test blood vessel permeability. This assay is based on intravenous injection of a dye and subsequent visualization of its diffusion into interstitial spaces.
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.
Here we describe a protocol for isolating subsets of precursor B-cells from umbilical cord blood. A sufficient quantity and quality of nucleic acids may be extracted from the cells and used in subsequent assays utilizing DNA or RNA.
Microfluidic-based Electrotaxis for On-demand Quantitative Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans' Locomotion
A semi-automated micro-electro-fluidic method to induce on-demand locomotion in Caenorhabditis elegans is described. This method is based on the neurophysiologic phenomenon of worms responding to mild electric fields (“electrotaxis”) inside microfluidic channels. Microfluidic electrotaxis serves as a rapid, sensitive, low-cost, and scalable technique to screen for factors affecting neuronal health.
Quantification of Atherosclerotic Plaque Activity and Vascular Inflammation using [18-F] Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (FDG-PET/CT)
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, 2Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, 3Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
There is great need to identify atherosclerosis non-invasively, and here we demonstrate how FDG-PET/CT can be used to detect and quantify atherosclerotic plaque activity and vascular inflammation.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, 4Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
Photoacoustic ophthalmology (PAOM), an optical-absorption-based imaging modality, provides the complementary evaluation of the retina to the currently available ophthalmic imaging technologies. We report the using of PAOM integrated with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for simultaneous multimodal retinal imaging in rats.
1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Muscle Biology Research Group, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 3Pharmacology division, College of Pharmacy, DHLRI, Ohio State University
We describe a method to directly measure muscle force, muscle power, contractile kinetics and fatigability of isolated skeletal muscles in an in vitro system using field stimulation. Valuable information on Ca2+ handling properties and contractile machinery of the muscle can be obtained using different stimulating protocols.
A Reversible, Non-invasive Method for Airway Resistance Measurements and Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Sampling in Mice
1Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Millenium Premier Group, 3Department of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)
Repeated measurements of rodent respiratory physiology and sampling of airway inflammatory cells are desirable, but generally not feasible. Here we describe a repeatable method for orally intubating mice that permits repeated measurements of airway hyperreactivity and sampling of airway inflammatory cells.
This paper describes a novel method for oral infection of mice using Listeria monocytogenes-contaminated food. The protocol can readily be adapted for use with other food borne bacterial pathogens.
Aptamers are short ribo-/deoxyribo-oligonucleotides selected by in-vitro evolution methods based on affinity for a specific target. Aptamers are molecular recognition tools with versatile therapeutic, diagnostic, and research applications. We demonstrate methods for selection of aptamers for amyloid β-protein, the causative agent of Alzheimer's disease.
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
A Protocol for Comprehensive Assessment of Bulbar Dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
1Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, 2ALS/ MN Clinic, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, 3Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 4Department of Neurology, Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 5Department of Neurology, University of Toronto
Objective assessments of the physiological mechanisms that support speech are needed to monitor disease onset and progression in persons with ALS and to quantify treatment effects in clinical trials. In this video, we present a comprehensive, instrumentation-based protocol for quantifying speech motor performance in clinical populations.
Here are some highlights from the February 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
The development of the multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) is an important advance in the diagnosis and characterization of retinopathy. Multifocal electroretinograms are a mathematical average of an approximation of a b-wave. Software programs can derive ERGs from more than a hundred retinal areas in a few minutes per eye. Scotomas and retinal dysfunction can be mapped and quantified.
This video shows an effective technique for differentiating and dissecting the various semi-transparent structures of the human vitreous body in post mortem eyes.
Driving Simulation in the Clinic: Testing Visual Exploratory Behavior in Daily Life Activities in Patients with Visual Field Defects
Patients with visual deficits after stroke report about different constraints in daily life most likely due to variable compensatory strategies, which are difficult to differentiate in clinical routine. We present a clinical set-up which allows measurement of different compensatory head- and eye-movement-strategies and evaluating their effects on driving performance.
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Quantitative Imaging of Lineage-specific Toll-like Receptor-mediated Signaling in Monocytes and Dendritic Cells from Small Samples of Human Blood
We describe use of ImageStream technology (www.amnis.com), which combines quantitative flow cytometry with simultaneous high-resolution digital imaging, to quantify cellular mechanisms of primary immune cells from well-defined patient cohorts. Our studies provide a blueprint for translational investigations to quantify lineage specific cellular responses in small samples from subject cohorts.
Micro-dissection of rat brain into various regions is extremely important for the study of different neurodegenerative diseases. This video demonstrates micro-dissection of four major brain regions include olfactory bulb, frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus in fresh rat brain tissue. Useful tips for quick removal of respective regions to avoid RNA and protein degradation of the tissue are given.
Passive mechanical testing of mouse carotid arteries is described, with special consideration for adapting to different specimen ages. The procedures include determining the in vivo length of the artery, mounting it in a pressure myograph, recording data, measuring the unloaded dimensions and analyzing the resulting data.
1Cork Cancer Research Centre, Mercy University Hospital and Leslie C. Quick Jnr. Laboratory, University College Cork, 2Department of Computer Science, University College Cork, 3South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital
This article describes a procedure for the induction of orthotopic bioluminescent liver tumours in mice, and subsequent analysis of tumour growth confined to the liver using live whole body luminescence imaging.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
1Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, 2Department of Neurology, University of Washington, 3Division of Genetics, Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and the Institute for Genomic Medicine, University of California, San Diego - Rady Children’s Hospital
We describe a protocol for the rapid and sensitive quantification of disease severity in mouse models of cerebellar ataxia. Measures include hind limb clasping, ledge test, gait and kyphosis. This protocol effectively discriminates between affected and non-affected individuals, and detects the progression of affected individuals over time.
Here we describe a set of DNA mutation assays that can be combined with the yeast chronological life span model to study the genes/pathways that regulate or contribute to genomic DNA instability during aging.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here are some highlights from the October 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
We describe a novel red fluorescent protein (RFP) reporter that is expressed specifically in the Drosophila eye. We detail a methodology for dissection of the eye imaginal disc and how this reporter can be used to aid in the dissection and identification of specific cell types in the developing eye.
1Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 2Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, 3Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 4Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 5California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 6Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles
The Lashley III maze is a route-learning task that does not rely on aversive stimuli or visual cues. It is thus a highly attractive option for evaluating learning and memory, especially in aging mice or otherwise where stress is a consideration.
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.
Monitoring of Ubiquitin-proteasome Activity in Living Cells Using a Degron (dgn)-destabilized Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-based Reporter Protein
A method to monitor ubiquitin-proteasome activity in living cells is described. A degron-destabilized GFP- (GFP-dgn) and a stable GFP-dgnFS fusion protein are generated and transduced into the cell using a lentiviral expression vector. This technique allows to generate a stable GFP-dgn/GFP-dgnFS expressing cell line in which ubiquitin-proteasome activity can be easily assessed using epifluorescence or flow cytometry.
Bronchial thermoplasty is a non-drug procedure for severe persistent asthma that delivers thermal energy to the airway wall in a precisely controlled manner to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. Reducing airway smooth muscle decreases the ability of the airways to constrict, thereby reducing the frequency of asthma attacks.
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.
Oral Administration of Rotenone using a Gavage and Image Analysis of Alpha-synuclein Inclusions in the Enteric Nervous System
Parkinson's disease has been related to the exposure to pesticides. Here we show a method to deliver pesticides using a gastric tube at the desired concentration and a method to analyze their effect in alpha-synuclein accumulation in the enteric nervous system.
Kinematics and Ground Reaction Force Determination: A Demonstration Quantifying Locomotor Abilities of Young Adult, Middle-aged, and Geriatric Rats
1CullenWebb Animal Neurology & Ophthalmology Center, Riverview, NB, 2Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, University of Calgary, 4Department of Neuroscience, University of Calgary
Locomotion is often examined as a behavioural outcome in various models of disease in fields such as neuroscience and orthopedics. This video paper intends to describe a method for collecting ground reaction forces and kinematics from rats during unrestrained locomotion.
1Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, 3U.O. Gastroenterologia 2, IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Policlinico di Milano
We introduce a novel method for the maintenance of human intestinal mucosa in culture and monitoring of the response to various types of stimuli over at least 24 hrs. With our method, the polarity of the tissue is maintained, allowing for a physiological stimulation via the apical route.