1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Biostatistics Division, Thomas Jefferson University, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
Capillaroscopy is a non-invasive, relatively inexpensive methodology for directly visualizing the microcirculation. The forearm blood flow technique provides accepted non-invasive measures of endothelial function.
Fluorescent-core microcavity sensors employ a high-index quantum-dot coating in the channel of silica microcapillaries. Changes in the refractive index of fluids pumped into the capillary channel cause shifts in the microcavity fluorescence spectrum that can be used to analyze the channel medium.
Mass spectrometry has proven to be a valuable tool for analyzing large protein complexes. This method enables insights into the composition, stoichiometry and overall architecture of multi-subunit assemblies. Here, we describe, step-by-step, how to perform a structural mass spectrometry analysis, and characterize macromolecular structures.
Expansion of Embryonic and Adult Neural Stem Cells by In Utero Electroporation or Viral Stereotaxic Injection
Controlling the expansion of somatic stem cells is a major factor hampering their study and use in therapy. Here we describe a system to temporally control neural stem cells expansion during development and adulthood, which can be used to increase the number of neurons generated in the mouse brain.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
Zebrafish cell transplantation enables the combination of genetics and embryology to generate tissue specific chimeras. This video demonstrates gastrula staged cell transplantations that have allowed our lab to investigate the roles of astroglial populations and specific guidance cues during commissure formation in the forebrain.
In this protocol, we describe the direct cytoplasmic microinjection of cytochrome c protein into fibroblasts and primary sympathetic neurons. This technique allows for the introduction of cytochrome c protein into the cytoplasm of cells and mimics the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, which occurs during apoptosis.
1Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto, 2Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, 3Department of Anatomic Pathology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, 4Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Quantitative Real Time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is a rapid and sensitive method to investigate the expression levels of various microRNA (miRNA) molecules in tumor samples. Using this method expression of hundreds of different miRNA molecules can be amplified, quantified, and analyzed from the same cDNA template.
Retrograde Perfusion and Filling of Mouse Coronary Vasculature as Preparation for Micro Computed Tomography Imaging
1Department of Pathology, Center for Cardiovascular Biology, and Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, 2Departments of Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington
Visualization of the coronary vessels is critical to advancing our understanding of cardiovascular diseases. Here we describe a method for perfusing murine coronary vasculature with a radiopaque silicone rubber (Microfil), in preparation for micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) imaging.
In this video we present the microfluidic probe1 (MFP). We explain in detail how to assemble the MFP, mount it atop an inverted microscope, and align it relative to the substrate surface, and finally show how to use it to process a substrate surface immersed in a buffer solution.
Chick in ovo electroporation is a technique which allows genetic manipulation of the avian embryo. Common applications of this technique include functional analysis of genes and putative enhancer elements. This video demonstrates neural tube electroporation in HH 10 chick embryos. Injection technique and proper egg handling are discussed.
Rat Mesentery Exteriorization: A Model for Investigating the Cellular Dynamics Involved in Angiogenesis
This article describes a simple model for stimulating angiogenesis in the rat mesentery. The model produces dramatic increases in capillary sprouting, vascular area and vascular density over a relatively short time course in a tissue that allows en face visualization of entire microvascular networks down to the single cell level.
Analyzing Responses of Mouse Olfactory Sensory Neurons Using the Air-phase Electroolfactogram Recording
The electroolfactogram (EOG) recording is an informative, easy-to-conduct, and reliable way of assessing olfactory function at the level of the olfactory epithelium. This protocol describes a recording setup, mouse tissue preparation, data collection, and basic data analysis.
A method of gene transfer into chicken embryos at later incubation stages (older than Hamburger and Hamilton stage (HH) 22) is described. This method overcomes disadvantages of in ovo electroporation applied to older chicken embryos and is a useful technique to study gene function and regulation at older developmental stages.
An Allelotyping PCR for Identifying Salmonella enterica serovars Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium
We describe a multiplex PCR for the rapid detection of Salmonella enterica serovars Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium. Specific Salmonella serovars can be identified by targeting a multiplex PCR to genes and sequences unique to the O-antigen biosynthesis cluster and flagellin of a given serovar. Serovar is assigned then to a Salmonella isolate based on the appearance of specific, size amplicons (PCR product) corresponding to the target allele.
Lens development involves interactions with other tissues. Several zebrafish eye mutants are characterized by an abnormally small lens size. Here we demonstrate a lens transplantation experiment to determine whether this phenotype is due to intrinsic causes or defective interactions with tissues that surround the lens.
In this article we describe how we obtain FRET traces from individual DNA molecules immobilized to a surface using an automated scanning confocal microscope.
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Bioengineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 3California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), University of California, Los Angeles
We review our recent results on the integration of fluorescent microscopy and imaging flow cytometry tools on a cell-phone using compact and cost-effective opto-fluidic attachments. These cell-phone based micro-analysis devices might be useful for cytometric analysis, such as performing various cell counting tasks as well as for high-throughput screening of e.g., water samples in resource limited settings.
We describe a relatively simple method of transretinal electroretinogram (ERG) recordings for obtaining rod and cone photoresponses from intact mouse retina. This approach takes advantage of the block of synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to isolate their light responses and record them using field electrodes placed across the isolated flat-mounted retina.
This video shows how to use a programmable puller to make patch pipettes and sharp electrodes for electrophysiology. The same procedure can be used to make a variety of glass tools, including injection needles.
Controlling and analyzing neural circuits in vivo would be facilitated by a technology for delivery of viruses and other reagents to desired 3-dimensional sets of brain regions. We demonstrate customized fluidic injector array fabrication, and delivery of virally-encoded optical sensitizers, enabling optical manipulation of complex brain circuits.
A simple method to record extracellular field potentials in the larval zebrafish forebrain is described. The method provides a robust in vivo read-out of seizure-like activity. This technique can be used with genetically modified zebrafish larvae carrying epilepsy-related genes or seizures evoked by administration of convulsant drugs.
1Division of Nephrology-Hypertension, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 2San Diego VA Healthcare System
Measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the gold standard for kidney function assessment. Here we describe a high-throughput method which allows the determination of GFR in conscious mice by using a single bolus injection, determination of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-inulin in plasma and calculation of GFR by a two-phase exponential decay model.
Bees can be conditioned in an appetitive olfactory learning paradigm (PER-conditioning). Using odors as stimuli, we established a method in which behavior is recorded while simultaneously Calcium Imaging is used to measure odor evoked activity in mushroom body neurons in vivo.
Using fine tip micropipettes we inject plasmid DNA into subdomains of chicken somites or neural tubes. The concentration of the plasmid is adjusted to generate single transfected cells. We then allow the cells to develop into clonal populations.
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.
We describe a technique of microinjecting the aminoglycoside, gentamicin, into 2 days post-fetilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae to induce acute kidney injury (AKI). We also describe a method for whole mount immunohistochemistry, plastic embedding and sectioning of zebrafish larvae to visualize the AKI mediated damage.
Sampling Human Indigenous Saliva Peptidome Using a Lollipop-Like Ultrafiltration Probe: Simplify and Enhance Peptide Detection for Clinical Mass Spectrometry
Considering saliva sampling for future clinical application, a lollipop-like ultrafiltration (LLUF) probe was fabricated to fit in the human oral cavity. Direct analysis of undigested saliva by NanoLC-LTQ mass spectrometry demonstrated the ability of LLUF probes to remove large proteins and high abundance proteins, and make low-abundant peptides more detectable.
Microvolume samples are quantified by a spectrophotometer system that uses natural surface tension to retain samples without the use of cuvettes or capillaries. The dynamic range of protein concentrations and speed by which they can be measured are greatly increased with this 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.
RNAi Mediated Gene Knockdown and Transgenesis by Microinjection in the Necromenic Nematode Pristionchus pacificus
In model organisms, transgenesis can manipulate gene functions while RNAi can knockdown specific mRNA transcripts 1-2. This protocol aims to illustrate the techniques needed to introduce stably transmitted DNA and transient double stranded RNA into the necromenic nematode Pristionchus pacificus for studies in evolutionary, developmental, and behavioral biology.
Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to measure electrically evoked presynaptic dopamine dynamics in striatal brain slices.
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.
Here we describe a quick and simple method to measure cell stiffness. The general principle of this approach is to measure membrane deformation in response to well-defined negative pressure applied through a micropipette to the cell surface. This method provides a powerful tool to study biomechanical properties of substrate-attached cells.
Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) is an emerging technology capable of imaging optical absorption contrasts in vivo with cellular resolution and sensitivity. Here, we provide a visualized instruction on the experimental protocols of OR-PAM, including system configuration, system alignment, typical in vivo experimental procedures, and functional imaging schemes.
Murine Spinotrapezius Model to Assess the Impact of Arteriolar Ligation on Microvascular Function and Remodeling
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, 3Office of Animal Welfare, University of Virginia, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering & Institute for Computational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
We demonstrate a novel arterial ligation model in murine spinotrapezius muscle, including a step-by-step procedure and description of required instrumentation. We describe the surgery and relevant outcome measurements relating to vascular network remodeling and functional vasodilation using intravital and confocal microscopy.
This is a guide to modifying the shape of glass micropipettes. Specifically, by using heat and air pressure the taper is widened without increasing the tip opening, leading to lower pipette resistance. This is critical to obtain low noise recordings of small cells but is useful in many applications.
Right-angle microprisms inserted into the mouse neocortex allows for deep imaging of multiple cortical layers with a viewpoint typically found in slice. One-millimeter microprisms offer a wide field-of-view (~900 μm) and spatial resolutions sufficient to resolve dendritic spines. We demonstrate layer V neuronal imaging and neocortical vascular imaging using microprisms.
The model organism C. elegans uses pseudocoelomic fluid as a passive circulatory system. Direct assay of this fluid has not been previously possible. Here we present a novel technique to directly assay the extracellular space, and use systemic silencing signals during an RNAi response as a proof of principle example.
Key to understanding the morphogenetic processes that shape the early embryo is the ability to image cells at high resolution. We describe here a technique for labeling single cells or small clusters of cells in whole zebrafish embryos with membrane-targeted Green Fluorescent Protein.
Craniofacial cartilages develop in close contact with other tissues and are difficult to manipulate in live animals. We are using electroporation to deliver molecular tools during growth of the craniofacial skeleton while bypassing early embryonic effects. This approach will allow us to efficiently test candidate molecules in vivo.
1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 2College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurosurgery, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Clinically relevant animal models of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) are needed to extend our knowledge of hemorrhagic stroke and to examine novel therapeutic strategies. In this study, we describe and evaluate two ICH models that implement unilateral injections of either autologous whole blood or bacterial collagenase into the basal ganglia (corpus striatum) of mice.
Cortical blood flow dynamics can be studied in vivo by imaging fluorescent dextran dyes injected into the tail vein of rodents with 2-photon microscopy. This video shows how to image blood flow dynamics in neocortex of mice through a glass-covered cranial window preparation.
1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Shriners Hospital for Children, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo
A new versatile method for observation of microcirculation is presented. It is considered suitable for long-term observation, and for combination with pharmacophysiological or molecular biological interventions.
Adhesion Frequency Assay for In Situ Kinetics Analysis of Cross-Junctional Molecular Interactions at the Cell-Cell Interface
An adhesion frequency assay for measuring receptor-ligand interaction kinetics when both molecules are anchored on the surfaces of the interacting cells is described. This mechanically-based assay is exemplified using a micropipette-pressurized human red blood cell as adhesion sensor and integrin αLβ2 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as interacting receptors and ligands.
The production of hyperpolarized xenon by means of spin exchange optical pumping (SEOP) is described. This method yields a ~10000-fold enhancement of the nuclear spin polarization of Xe-129 and has applications in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. Examples of gas phase and solution state experiments are given.
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.
We present a technique for labeling single neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila embryos, which allows the analysis of neuronal morphology by either transmitted light or confocal microscopy.
A tissue preparation is described for visualization and experimental manipulation of the living microcirculation. In anesthetized male mice, the thin, highly vascularized cremaster muscle is prepared for intravital microscopy to study microvascular networks including arterioles, capillaries and venules. This preparation is readily adapted for rats and hamsters.
This protocol illustrates the technique for extracting oocytes or early-stage fertilized embryos from the oviduct of mice. The ability to identify the infindibulum and insert a blunt end needle into it is essential to correctly performing the procedure.