1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Scholars Academy/MARC Scholar, University of Houston-Downtown, 3Genes and Development Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors1,2 while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons3. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
The comparative species approach allows behavioral neuroscientists to explore various neurobiological factors associated with specific behaviors viewed as characteristic of a specific animal model. Taking advantage of naturally occurring differences in behavior between closely related species, this technique doesn’t require invasive techniques to manipulate the expression of the behavior.
Ex Vivo Red Blood Cell Hemolysis Assay for the Evaluation of pH-responsive Endosomolytic Agents for Cytosolic Delivery of Biomacromolecular Drugs
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program, Vanderbilt University, 4Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 5Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 6Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University
A hemolysis assay can be used as a rapid, high-throughput screen of drug delivery systems' cytocompatibility and endosomolytic activity for intracellular cargo delivery. The assay measures the disruption of erythrocyte membranes as a function of environmental pH.
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.
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.
We have developed two methods for studying effects of visual cues on behavior in the absence of tactile and chemical cues. One method involves videotaping responses of crayfish to reflective walls in an aquarium; the other examines effects of visual inputs provided by a live crayfish behind a transparent partition.
Here, we describe a rapid reliable and simple procedure to determine the lowest temperature at which rats or mice show nocifensive behavior, i.e. the thermal nociceptive threshold (TNT). This method applies a slowly increasing thermal stimulus allowing precise and reproducible estimation of TNTs with minimum, if any, stress to the animals.
The light/dark transition test is one of the most widely used tests to measure anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie that shows detailed procedures on how we conduct the test.
Measuring the Subjective Value of Risky and Ambiguous Options using Experimental Economics and Functional MRI Methods
1Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine, 3Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4Department of Psychology, New York University, 5Department of Economics, New York University
Using functional MRI and behavioral methods to determine the neural representation of the subjective value of risky and ambiguous options in the human brain.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
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.
1Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Brain Research Unit, Low Temperature Laboratory and Advanced magnetic Imaging Center, Aalto University School of Science and Technology
In this article, we examine the effects of visually relevant state dependency on TMS induced motive phosphenic presentations.
1Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Unit, Frontier Technology Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 2Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science Division of Systems Medicine, Fujita Health University
The elevated plus maze test is one of the most widely used tests for measuring anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie showing the detailed procedures for conducting the test.
1Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 2Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, Mount Sinai Hospital, 3Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 4Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Here we describe a detailed protocol for examination of sociability in mice by using Crawley's sociability and preference for social novelty test. We describe the advantages and possible applications for this procedure, including critical details important for correct interpretation of the results.
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2Tulane University School of Medicine, 3The Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, 4Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine
The tail-suspension test is validated as an experimental procedure to assess antidepressant efficacy of drug treatments in mice. Mice are suspended by their tails for six minutes and escape-related behaviors are assessed. We describe procedures used in conducting the tail suspension test.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
We have developed a video-rate tracking microscope system that can record and quantify C. elegans behavior at high resolution and high speeds. We have also developed computational methods to reduce the dimensionality of the worm images to a fundamental set of measurements that completely describe the shape of the worm.
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.
Non-invasive measurements of neural activity patterns in freely behaving animals are obtained by combining neurophysiological recordings with high speed videography.
An In Vitro Preparation for Eliciting and Recording Feeding Motor Programs with Physiological Movements in Aplysia californica
We describe a technique to extracellularly record and stimulate from nerves, muscles, and individual identified neurons in vitro while eliciting and observing different types of feeding behaviors in the feeding apparatus of Aplysia.
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.
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2Tulane University School of Medicine, 3Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 4The Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland
The forced swim test is validated as an experimental approach to assess potential antidepressant efficacy in rodents. Experimental animals are placed in a tank of water and escape-related mobility behavior is quantified. The common procedures for the mouse version of this test are described.
Optokinetic response has been widely used to assess the visual functions of larval zebrafish. Nevertheless, the standard protocol for larval fish is not yet readily applicable in adults1-5. Here, we introduce how to measure the OKR of adult zebrafish using a new protocol which is established in our lab.
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.
In this video article, we describe a new method allowing the construction of odorant gradients with stable and controllable geometries. We briefly illustrate how these gradients can be used to screen for olfactory defects (full and partial anosmia) and to study more subtle features of chemotaxis behavior.
Cognitive impairment resulting from the radiotherapeutic management of brain tumors represents a clinically intractable condition that adversely impacts quality of life. The capability to critically evaluate potential interventions for ameliorating radiation-induced cognitive decrements ultimately depends on the capability to undertake rigorous quantitative assessments of cognition.
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.
The Vermicelli and Capellini Handling Tests: Simple quantitative measures of dexterous forepaw function in rats and mice
1Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 2Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Neurology, University of Florida, 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida
The Vermicelli and Capellini Handling Tests of forepaw dexterity take advantage of the natural inclination of rodents to manipulate food items using skillful forepaw and digit movements. Animals are videotaped while handling short strands of uncooked dry pasta. Slow motion video playback allows for the quantification of forepaw adjustments.
We describe two tactile sensory testing methods for acute or chronic periods of spinal cord injury in rats. These validated procedures can detect the development and maintenance of allodynia-like sensations.
Here are some highlights from the April 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
A novel impulsive cell pressurization experiment has been developed using a Kolsky bar device to investigate the molecular/cellular mechanisms of blast-induced traumatic brain injury.
Simultaneous Recording of Calcium Signals from Identified Neurons and Feeding Behavior of Drosophila melanogaster
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, extends its proboscis for feeding, responding to a sugar stimulus from its proboscis or tarsus. I have combined observations of the proboscis extension response (PER) with a calcium imaging technique, allowing us to monitor the activity of neurons in the brain, simultaneously with behavioral observation.
Combining Behavioral Endocrinology and Experimental Economics: Testosterone and Social Decision Making
The procedure described in this protocol shows that testosterone administration and folk beliefs about testosterone may be associated with directly opposed social behaviors.
Responding for food or drug-paired cues increases over the course of a period of abstinence and this may relate to an increased susceptibility to relapse behaviors. Here we detail a procedure for evaluating this "incubation of craving" in rats that have self-administered sucrose.
Video playback is a widely used technique in animal behavior. We created and evaluated a program that applies rules-based, interactive playback of 3-D computer animations in response to real-time, automated data on subject behavior.
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.
Tactile Conditioning And Movement Analysis Of Antennal Sampling Strategies In Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)
In this protocol we show how to condition harnessed honey bees to tactile stimuli and introduce a 2D motion capture technique for analyzing the kinematics of fine-scale antennal sampling pattern.
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.
Animal models of relapse, known as reinstatement procedures, have been used extensively to study the role of stress in relapse to drug seeking. Here, we report on a method for inducing the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory rats via acute exposures to mild, intermittent electric footshock.
The present report details the protocol employed to measure the rewarding effects of high-fat food in mice using a progressive ratio operant conditioning task.
Infection of the prostate may be a contributing factor in mediating pelvic pain in chronic prostatitis. We describe the procedure for preparation of standardized bacterial inoculum, instillation of bacteria into the urethra of male mice and methodology for measuring tactile allodynia in mice over time.
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.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
Microscopic organisms like the free-swimming nematode C. elegans, live and behave in a complex three-dimensional environment. We report on a novel approach that provides analysis of C. elegans using diffraction patterns. This approach consists of tracking the temporal periodicity of diffraction patterns generated by directing laser light through a cuvette.
T-maze Forced Alternation and Left-right Discrimination Tasks for Assessing Working and Reference Memory in Mice
1Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 2Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 3Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
This article presents the protocol of T-maze tests using a modified automated apparatus for assessing the learning and memory functions in mice.
Play fighting in the rat involves attack and defense of the nape of the neck, which if contacted, is gently nuzzled with the snout. Because the movements of one animal are countered by the actions of its partner, play fighting is a complex, dynamic interaction. This dynamic complexity raises methodological problems about what to score for experimental studies. We present a scoring schema that is sensitive to the correlated nature of the actions performed. Two experiments illustrate how these measurements can be used to detect the effect of brain damage on play fighting even when there is no effect on overall playfulness. That is, the schema presented here is designed to detect and evaluate changes in the content of play following an experimental treatment.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
Recent advances in 2-photon microscopy have enabled real-time in situ imaging of live tissues in animal models, thereby enhancing our ability to investigate cellular behavior in both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Here, we outline the preparations required to perform intravital imaging of the mouse popliteal lymph node.
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.