One of the pathological characteristics of AD is the formation of Amyloid β protein positive neuritic plaques. In this protocol we describe two methods to detect neuritic plaques in transgenic AD model mice: immunohistochemical detection using the ABC and DAB method and fluorescent detection using thioflavin S staining method.
Examining the Characteristics of Episodic Memory using Event-related Potentials in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
The methodology for collecting high-density event-related potential data while patients with Alzheimer's disease perform a recognition memory task is reviewed. This protocol will include subject preparation, quality assurance, data acquisition, and data analysis.
The intensely studied nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans can be transgenically engineered to express the human β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Induced expression of Aβ in C. elegans muscle leads to a rapid, reproducible paralysis phenotype that can be used to monitor treatments that modulate Aβ toxicity.
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.
We describe methods to study aspects of amylopathies in the worm C. elegans. We show how to construct worms expressing human Aβ42 in neurons and how to test their function in behavioral assays. We further show how to obtain primary neuronal cultures that can be used for pharmacological testing.
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.
Transgenic (Tg) mouse models of AD provide an excellent opportunity to investigate how and why Aβ or tau levels in CSF change as the disease progresses in human patients. Here, we demonstrate a refined cisterna magna puncture technique for serial CSF sampling from the mouse.
SDS-PAGE/Immunoblot Detection of Aβ Multimers in Human Cortical Tissue Homogenates using Antigen-Epitope Retrieval
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 2Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tsukuba University, 3Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University
We describe a technique for the preparation of clarified human cortical homogenates, protein separation by SDS-PAGE, antigen retrieval and immunoblotting with an antibody to the Aβ peptide. Using this protocol, we consistently detect monomeric and multimeric Aβ in cortical tissue from humans with Alzheimer's pathology.
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.
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.
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Preparation of Oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 and Induction of Synaptic Plasticity Impairment on Hippocampal Slices
One feature of Alzheimer's Disease is the elevation of Aβ1-42 peptide. Here we provide a protocol for preparing synthetic Aβ1-42 oligomers, which impairs hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation, a cellular correlate of memory. This procedure is useful for investigating mechanisms of Aβ-induced pathology and drug screening.
The Morris Water Maze is a behavioral task to test hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. It has been widely used in the study of neurobiology, neuropharmacology and neurocognitive disorders in rodent models.
Stereotactic Injection of MicroRNA-expressing Lentiviruses to the Mouse Hippocampus CA1 Region and Assessment of the Behavioral Outcome
MicroRNAs have significant roles in brain structure and function. Here we describe a method to enforce hippocampal miRNA over-expression using stereotactic injection of an engineered miRNA-expressing lentivirus. This approach can serve as a relatively rapid way to assess the in vivo effects of over-expressed miRNAs in specific brain regions.
1Department of Pathology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
A new species of cellular prion protein (PrPC) has recently been identified in uninfected human brains using the methods described here. These methods can be used to isolate various PrP species, while some of them are also useful in isolating other misfolded protein aggregates from human brains.
1NICN, Aix Marseille University, 2LNPM, Aix Marseille University, 3ENT Department, Aix Marseille University, 4Gene expression Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 5Laboratory of Speech and Language, Aix Marseille University, 6Centre d'Investigations Cliniques en Biothérapie, Aix Marseille University
We describe here a method for biopsying olfactory mucosa from rat and human nasal cavities. These biopsies can be used for either identifying molecular anomalies in brain diseases or isolating multipotent adult stem cells that can be utilized for cell transplantation in animal models of brain trauma/disease.
Here we describe the technique of preparing and maintaining compartmented chambers for culturing sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia.
This article will detail the protocol for measuring calpain activity in fixed and living cells using flow cytometry.
A minimally invasive protocol to stabilize the mouse spinal column and perform repetitive in vivo spinal cord imaging using two-photon microscopy is described. This method combines a spinal stabilization device and an anesthetic regimen to minimize respiratory-induced movements and produce raw imaging data that require no alignment or other post-processing.
A method for large-scale purification of the APP intracellular domain (AICD) is described. We also describe methodology to induce in vitro AICD aggregation and visualization by atomic force microscopy. The methods described are useful for biochemical/structural characterization of the AICD and the effects of molecular chaperones on its aggregation.
Zebrafish represent a powerful vertebrate model that has been under-utilised for metabolic studies. Here we describe a rapid way to measure the in vivo metabolic profile of developing zebrafish that allows the comparison of different mitochondrial function parameters between genetically or pharmacologically manipulated embryos, thereby increasing the applicability of this organism.
The non-human primate is an important translational species for our understanding of the normal processing of the brain. The anatomical organization of the primate brain can provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans.
In this article, we examine the methodology and considerations relevant to the combination of TMS and fMRI to examine the effects of brain stimulation on the default network.
Cellular Lipid Extraction for Targeted Stable Isotope Dilution Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis
This protocol will demonstrate the extraction and analysis of free and esterified bioactive fatty acids from cells. Fatty acids are accurately quantified using stable isotope dilution, chiral liquid chromatography, electron capture atmospheric chemical ionization multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SID-LC-ECAPCI-MRM/MS).
Here, we describe a method for efficient cryopreservation and thawing of cortical brain tissue blocks to generate highly enriched neuronal cultures. This simple protocol provides flexibility for later generation of neuronal, astrocyte, and neuronal precursor cell cultures.
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.
Non-Laser Capture Microscopy Approach for the Microdissection of Discrete Mouse Brain Regions for Total RNA Isolation and Downstream Next-Generation Sequencing and Gene Expression Profiling
RNA expression profiling of discrete mouse brain regions requires a precise and repeatable tissue collection strategy. A protocol that uses both coronal brain sectioning and tissue corer-assisted microdissection is described here. The yield and quality of total RNA obtained from the resulting samples confirms the utility of the outlined method.
Detection of Microregional Hypoxia in Mouse Cerebral Cortex by Two-photon Imaging of Endogenous NADH Fluorescence
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 2Center for Neural Development and Disease, University of Rochester Medical Center, 3Deptartment of Neurology, Center for Neural Development and Disease, University of Rochester Medical Center
Here we describe a method to directly visualize microregional tissue hypoxia in the mouse cortex in vivo. It is based on concurrent two-photon imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and the cortical microcirculation. This method is useful for high resolution analysis of tissue oxygen supply.
The generation, purification and cell invasion of intracellular, cytoplasmic full length DISC1 protein aggresomes from cell cultures and of a labeled, multimeric recombinant DISC1 protein fragment in E. coli are described. Cell invasiveness is shown for recipient cells in cell culture and for neurons in vivo after stereotactical brain inoculation.
Astrocytes have been recognized to be versatile cells participating in fundamental biological processes that are essential for normal brain development and function, and central nervous system repair. Here we present a rapid procedure to obtain pure mouse astrocyte cultures to study the biology of this major class of central nervous system cells.
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.
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.
Microglia are resident macrophages that provide the first line of defense and immune surveillance of the central nervous system. MicroRNAs are regulatory molecules that play an important role in many physiological processes including activation and differentiation of macrophages. In this article, we describe the method for measurement of microRNAs in microglia.
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Center for Stem Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University, 2Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, 3Department of Biology, Duke University
A method of visualizing and quantifying the 3-dimensional structure of mouse hepatic portal vein or intrahepatic bile duct is described. This resin cast technique can also be applied to other ductal or vascular systems and allows for in situ visualization or quantification of a system's intact communicating architecture.
This protocol describes a non-viral method of delivery of genetic constructs to a certain area of living rodent brain. The method consists of plasmid preparation, micropipette fabrication, neonatal rat pup surgery, microinjection of the construct, and in vivo electroporation.
Neural control and cognitive processes can be studied through eye movements. The VisualEyes software allows an operator to program stimuli on two computer screens independently using a simple, custom scripting language. The system can stimulate tandem eye movements (saccades and smooth pursuit) or opposing eye movements (vergence) or any combination.
Live Cell Calcium Imaging Combined with siRNA Mediated Gene Silencing Identifies Ca2+ Leak Channels in the ER Membrane and their Regulatory Mechanisms
The endoplasmic reticulum plays a key role in protein biogenesis and in calcium homeostasis. We have established an experimental system that allows us to address the role of Ca2+ leak channels and to characterize their putative regulatory mechanisms. This system involves siRNA mediated gene silencing and live cell Ca2+ imaging.
MRI-guided Disruption of the Blood-brain Barrier using Transcranial Focused Ultrasound in a Rat Model
1Imaging Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute, 2Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 3Department of Medical Biophysics, and Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto
Microbubble-mediated focused ultrasound disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a promising technique for non-invasive targeted drug delivery in the brain1-3. This protocol outlines the experimental procedure for MRI-guided transcranial BBB disruption in a rat model.
Studying Mitotic Checkpoint by Illustrating Dynamic Kinetochore Protein Behavior and Chromosome Motion in Living Drosophila Syncytial Embryos
The kinetochore is where the SAC initiates its signal monitoring the mitotic segregation of the sister chromatids. A method is described to visualize the recruitment and turnover of one of the kinetochore proteins and its coordination with the chromosome motion in Drosophila embryos using a Leica laser scanning confocal system.
A method to intranasally administer drugs to awake mice for the purpose of targeting the brain is described. This method allows for repeat dosing over long periods using intranasal administration of drug without anesthesia, and nose-to-brain delivery with minimal systemic exposure.
We present a method of creating a thinned-skull cortical window (TSCW) in a mouse model for in vivo OCT imaging of the cerebral cortex.
1Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care, School of Medical sciences, Edith Cowan University, 2Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Graylands Hospital, University of Western Australia, 3McCusker Alzheimer's Research foundation, 4School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, 5Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Adelaide, 6School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, 7School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
This protocol outlines regular maintenance and care to maintain optimal conditions for zebrafish husbandry. The video illustrates the protocol for system maintenance, regular housing, feeding, breeding, and raising of zebrafish larvae.
Habituation and prepulse inhibition of startle are operational measures of sensory gating. Sensory gating is disrupted in schizophrenia, and some other mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. We here describe a standard protocol to assess short-term and long-term habituation as well as prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle responses in rats and mice.
1Optics Division, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, 3Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 4Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, University of California
We present an experimental procedure for measuring the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) in cerebral vasculature based on oxygen-dependent quenching of phosphorescence. Animal preparation and imaging procedures were outlined for both large field of view CCD-based imaging of pO2 in rats and 2-photon excitation based imaging of pO2 in mice.
Construction and Implantation of a Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents.
As neuroscience inquiry becomes more sophisticated, investigation of brain structures and circuitry requires improved levels of accuracy and higher resolution. We have developed a method for the preparation and implantation of a chronic infusion system within the brain utilizing a borosilicate microcannula with a tip diameter of 50 microns.
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.
Burrowing, nesting, and hoarding are species-typical activities that mice readily perform in the laboratory. This article describes how they can be easily and cheaply assessed. These protocols are extremely sensitive to mouse strain, brain lesions and diseases. Moreover they constitute “environmental enrichment” for the mice, and embody the “Refinement” aspect of the “3 Rs”18.
Determination of Lipid Raft Partitioning of Fluorescently-tagged Probes in Living Cells by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
1Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, 2Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay, Université Paris-Sud, 3Centre de Photonique Biomédicale du Centre Laser, Université Paris-Sud
A technique to probe the lipid raft partitioning of fluorescent proteins at the plasma membrane of living cells is described. It takes advantage of the disparity in diffusion times of proteins located inside or outside of lipid rafts. Acquisition can be performed dynamically in control conditions or after drug addition.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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.