Here we describe a protocol for the preparation of agar-embedded retinal slices that are suitable for electrophysiology and Ca2+ imaging. This method allows one to study ribbon-type synapses in retinal microcircuits using direct patch-clamp recordings of single presynaptic nerve terminals.
Multicolor Time-lapse Imaging of Transgenic Zebrafish: Visualizing Retinal Stem Cells Activated by Targeted Neuronal Cell Ablation
In this video, techniques for multicolor confocal time-lapse imaging and targeted cell ablation are provided. Time-lapse imaging is used to monitor the behavior of multiple cell types of interest in vivo. Targeted cell ablation facilitates the study neural circuit function and cell-specific neuronal regeneration paradigms.
In this video, we demonstrate how to label and visualize single synaptic vesicle exocytosis and trafficking in goldfish retinal bipolar cells using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy.
A method for the isolation of single retinal cells and subsequent amplification of their cDNAs is described. Single-cell transcriptomics reveals the degree of cellular heterogeneity present in a tissue and uncovers new marker genes for rare cell populations. The accompanying protocol can be adjusted to suit many different cell types.
This video shows the process of whole-cell voltage clamp recordings in the retinal slice of the aquatic tiger salamander. We demonstrate the preparation of the slice as well as how to perform patch clamp recordings during visual stimulation of the retina.
We present a protocol that permits to view and to quantitatively asses the morphology of the dendritic tree of individual Purkinje cells grown in organotypic cerebellar slice cultures. This protocol is intended to promote studies on the mechanisms of Purkinje cell dendritic development.
Adult and Embryonic Skeletal Muscle Microexplant Culture and Isolation of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells
The micro-dissected explants technique is a robust and reliable method for isolating proliferative skeletal muscle cells from juvenile, adult or embryonic muscles as a source of skeletal muscle stem cells. Uniquely, these cells have been clonally derived to produce skeletal muscle stem cell lines used for in vivo transplantation.
We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
This protocol describes the isolation and dissociation of mouse medulloblastoma tissue, and subsequent allografting of the tumor cells into immunocompromised recipient mice in order to initiate secondary medulloblastoma.
Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) rich in myofibroblasts present within the tumour stroma, play a major role in driving tumour progression. We developed a coimplantation tumour xengraft model for experimentally generating CAFs from human mammary fibroblasts. The protocol describes how to establish CAF myofibroblasts that acquire an ability to promote tumourigenesis.
The ability to manipulate human neural stem/precursor cells (hNSPCs) in vitro allows to investigate their utility as cell transplants for therapeutic purposes and to explore human neural development. This protocol presents a method of culturing and passaging hNSPCs in hopes of increasing reproducibility of human stem cell research.
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.
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.
Metaphase to anaphase transition is triggered through anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C)-dependent ubiquitination and subsequent destruction of cyclin B. Here, we established a system which, following pulse-chase labeling, allows monitoring cyclin B proteolysis in entire cell populations and facilitates the detection of interference by the mitotic checkpoint.
The fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is a good model system to study basic cellular processes. Here we describe a method to perform quantitative live cell analysis of fission yeast. In this particular experiment we focus on organisation of the genome within the cell nucleus, but the method can also be used to study cytosolic factors.
Here we use a human esiRNA library in a high-throughput screen for genes involved in cell division. We demonstrate how to set up and conduct an esiRNA screens, as well as how to analyze and validate the results.
Xenopus laevis provides an ideal model system for studying cell fate specification and physiological function of individual retinal cells in primary cell culture. Here we present a technique for dissecting retinal tissues and generating primary cell cultures that are imaged for calcium activity and analyzed by in situ hybridization.
1Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, College of Dentistry, New York University, 2Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, 3Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4School of Dental Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine, 5 , Monell Chemical Senses Center, 6Monell Chemical Senses Center
Knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying gustatory transduction has recently enjoyed significant advances, largely due to using animal models. However, the wide diversity in taste sensitivity and specificity among mammals warrants studies in human tissue. We describe a biopsy technique to collect living taste cells from the papillae on human tongue.
An Isolated Retinal Preparation to Record Light Response from Genetically Labeled Retinal Ganglion Cells
This article provides a description of how to dissect and record from the isolated retinal preparation in mouse. In particular, we describe how to record light responses from a fluorescently labeled ganglion cell population and subsequently identify and analyze its morphology.
A way to study the integration of newborn dentate granule cells in adult animals is described. This technique uses an engineered retrovirus to label newborn neurons, followed by electrophysiological recordings to determine in vivo functional integration.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography Methodology for the Evaluation of Tissue Engineered Construct Growth
The procedure demonstrates the methodology of magnetic resonance elastography for monitoring the engineered outcome of adipose and osteogenic tissue engineered constructs through noninvasive local assessment of the mechanical properties using microscopic magnetic resonance elastography (μMRE).
Rapid and Efficient Generation of Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Multititre Plate Format
Protocols for neuronal differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells (hPSCs) are often time-consuming and require substantial cell culture skills. Here, we have adapted a small molecule-based differentiation procedure to a multititre plate format, allowing simple, rapid, and efficient generation of human neurons in a controlled manner.
Odorant-induced Responses Recorded from Olfactory Receptor Neurons using the Suction Pipette Technique
Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convert odor signals first into a receptor current that in turn triggers action potentials that are conveyed to second order neurons in the olfactory bulb. Here we describe the suction pipette technique to record simultaneously the odorant-induced receptor current and action potentials from mouse ORNs.
Here we describe a procedure for generating dark-adapted slices of the mouse retina for electrophysiological recordings.
This protocol describes a simple and inexpensive way to quantify the activity of cis-regulatory elements (i.e., enhancer/promoters) in living mouse retinas via explant electroporation. DNA preparation, retinal dissection, electroporation, retinal explant culture, and post-fixation analysis and quantification are described.
This protocol describes the use of microinjection and high resolution imaging in the Drosophila melanogaster syncytial embryo to study mitosis.
The Culture of Primary Motor and Sensory Neurons in Defined Media on Electrospun Poly-L-lactide Nanofiber Scaffolds
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University, 3Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, 4Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Health System
Aligned electrospun fibers direct the growth of neurons in vitro and are a potential component of nerve regeneration scaffolds. We describe a procedure for preparing electrospun fiber substrates and the serum-free culture of primary rat E15 sensory (DRG) and motor neurons. Visualization of neurons by immunocytochemistry is also included.
This article demonstrates the dissection and incubation of rabbit retina and particle-mediated gene transfer of plasmids encoding GFP or a variety of subcellular markers into retinal ganglion cells.
The C. elegans embryo is a powerful system for studying cell biology and development. We present a protocol for live imaging of C. elegans embryos utilizing DIC optics or fluorescence using readily available epifluorescent microscopes and open-source software.
1Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 4Center for High-Throughput Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A method for the incorporation of plasmid DNA into murine retinal cells for the purpose of performing either gain- or loss of function studies in vivo is presented. This method capitalizes on the transient increase in permeability of cell plasma membranes induced by the application of an external electrical field.
In mice, the ability to detect pheromones is principally mediated by the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Here, an acute tissue slice preparation of VNO for performing calcium imaging is described. This physiological approach allows observations of subpopulations and/or individual neurons in a living tissue and is convenient for receptor-ligand identification.
Oocytes are prone to aneuploidy due to errors in chromosome segregation during meiotic maturation. Aneuploid eggs can cause infertility, miscarriages or developmental disorders like Down syndrome. Here, we describe methods to introduce materials of choice into oocytes and methods to study meiotic maturation and assess ploidy.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to measure electrically evoked presynaptic dopamine dynamics in striatal brain slices.
Pharmacological and Functional Genetic Assays to Manipulate Regeneration of the Planarian Dugesia japonica
An attractive model for studying stem cell differentiation within a live animal is the planarian flatworm. Regeneration is studied by simple amputation experiments that are easily performed in a basic laboratory and are amenable to pharmacological and genetic (in vivo RNAi) manipulation as detailed by protocols in this article.
1Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 2Departments of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School
This article describes a high temporal and spatial resolution technique to optically image action potential movement on the surface of Langendorff-perfused rat hearts using a potentiometric dye (di-8-ANEPPS).
Osmotic Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans: Synaptic Function of Two Genes, Orthologues of Human NRXN1 and NLGN1, as Candidates for Autism
Neurexins and neuroligins are membrane-neuron adhesion proteins which perform essential roles in synaptic differentiation and transmission. Neuroligin deficient mutants of C. elegans are defective in detecting osmotic strength, but when they also contain a mutation in the gene coding neurexin, they recover the wild type phenotype.
Ex utero Electroporation and Whole Hemisphere Explants: A Simple Experimental Method for Studies of Early Cortical Development
This protocol describes an improved explant procedure that involves ex utero electroporation, dissection and culture of entire cerebral hemispheres from the embryonic mouse. The preparation facilitates pharmacological studies and assays of gene function during early cortical development.
1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester, 2Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 3Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester
Middle cerebral artery (MCA) ligation is a technique to study focal cerebral ischemia in animal models. In this method, the middle cerebral artery is exposed by craniotomy and ligated by cauterization. This method gives highly reproducible infarct volumes and increased post-operative survival rates compared to other methods available.
A robust way to study neuronal avalanches, i.e. scale-invariant spatio-temporal activity bursts, indicative of critical state dynamics in cortex. Avalanches emerge spontaneously in developing superficial layers of cultured cortex which allows for long-term measurements of the activity with planar integrated multi-electrode arrays (MEA) under precisely controlled conditions.
Simultaneous Electroencephalography, Real-time Measurement of Lactate Concentration and Optogenetic Manipulation of Neuronal Activity in the Rodent Cerebral Cortex
A procedure is described for manipulating the activity of cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons optogenetically while the electroencephalogram, electromyogram, and cerebral lactate concentration are monitored. Experimental recordings are performed on cable-tethered mice while they undergo spontaneous sleep/wake cycles. Optogenetic equipment is assembled in our laboratory; recording equipment is commercially available.
Generation of T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells gives an alternative approach of using embryonic stem cells for T cell-based immunotherapy. The method shows that by utilizing either in vitro or in vivo induction system, iPS cells are able to differentiate into both conventional and antigen-specific T lymphocytes.
We describe two methods for conditional trans-complementation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly and the completion of the full viral life cycle, which rely on heterokaryon formation. These techniques are suitable to screen for cell lines that express dominant restriction factors, which preclude production of infectious HCV progeny.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring the replicative life span of yeast mother cells.
In this video we present the ex vivo generation and expansion of human CD40-activated B cells (CD40-B) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by stimulation with CD40 ligand and interleukin-4.
SC1 functions through dual inhibition of Ras- GAP and ERK1. We tested the function of SC1 in supporting mouse ES cell self-renewal in the absence of LIF and showed that SC1 is able to maintain self-renewal of mouse ES cell cultures.
Here we describe a method to efficiently expand and purify large numbers of human NK cells and assess their function.
mStrawberry OP9 cells allow for complete evaluation of all ES-derived progeny from co-culture.
A rapid, robust way of isolating viable adult epithelial stem cells from human skin is described. The method utilizes enzymatic digestion of skin collagen matrix , followed by plucking of hair follicles and isolation of single cell suspensions or tissue fragments for cell culture.
Determining Optimal Cytotoxic Activity of Human Her2neu Specific CD8 T cells by Comparing the Cr51 Release Assay to the xCELLigence System
The chromium release assay, a common assay for detecting cytotoxic T cell activity, has several limitations. Using antigen-specific CD8 T cells and the human breast cancer tumor line, SKBR3, in the present article, an impedance-based approach was examined for the capability of detecting cell killing.