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.
How to Measure Cortical Folding from MR Images: a Step-by-Step Tutorial to Compute Local Gyrification Index
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva School of Medicine, 2Signal Processing Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 3Department of Radiology, University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, 4Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital
Measuring gyrification (cortical folding) at any age represents a window into early brain development. Hence, we previously developed an algorithm to measure local gyrification at thousands of points over the hemisphere1. In this paper, we detail the computation of this local gyrification index.
We established mouse models of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), the predominant brain injury in premature infants characterized by periventricular white matter lesions. Hypoxia/ischemia with/without systemic infection are the primary causes of PVL. Unilateral carotid ligation and hypoxia exposure with/without lipopolysaccharide injection creates PVL-like lesions in P6 mice.
Visualization and Genetic Manipulation of Dendrites and Spines in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus using In utero Electroporation
1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, 2Confocal and Image Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Medical Research, 3Physiopathologie de la plasticité neuronale, Neurocentre Magendie, Université de Bordeaux
This article describes in detail a protocol to electroporate in utero the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus at E14.5 in mice. We also show that this is a valuable method to study dendrites and spines in these two cerebral regions.
Surgical Implantation of Chronic Neural Electrodes for Recording Single Unit Activity and Electrocorticographic Signals
We provide useful information for surgeons who are learning the process of implanting chronic neural recording electrodes. Techniques for both penetrating and surface electrode systems are described in a rodent animal model.
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.
Time lapse imaging of 3D tissue culture allows studying migratory behavior of individual cells originating from ganglionic eminence in reaction to fractionated protein extract from cerebral cortex.
1Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Department of Pathology, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 3Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
This video describes the method used for isolation of neuroprecursors from the developing cortex of embryonic mice. The procedure for removing embryos from the uterus, dissecting the cortical tissue, and digesting the isolated cerebral cortex is shown.
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.
Retrograde Labeling of Retinal Ganglion Cells by Application of Fluoro-Gold on the Surface of Superior Colliculus
This video describes the method of retrograde labeling of RGC by applying fluoro-gold (FG) on the surface of superior colliculus (SC). Technique involves drilling the skull, aspirating the cortex, and applying gelatin sponge over entire dorsal surface of SC.
We describe a protocol for transcardiac perfusion of mice, removal and sectioning of the brain, as well as immunoperoxidase staining, resin embedding, and ultrathin sectioning of the brain sections. Upon completion of these procedures, the immunostained material is ready for examination with transmission electron microscopy.
The cellular heterogeneity of brain tissue poses a significant limitation for the study of epigenetic markings in chromatin because most assays lack single cell resolution. Neurons typically are intermingled with glia and other non-neuronal cells. We provide a protocol to extract and collect neuronal nuclei from human brain.
Mapping Cortical Dynamics Using Simultaneous MEG/EEG and Anatomically-constrained Minimum-norm Estimates: an Auditory Attention Example
We use magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG), combined with anatomical information captured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map the dynamics of the cortical network associated with auditory attention.
This video demonstrates how to build a Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) system that can easily be used to monitor blood flow.
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.
We demonstrate in the video a method for producing a middle cerebral artery occlusion in adult mice using an intraluminal monofilament. We also show how to evaluate the extent of cerebral infarction by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining.
Neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging have become increasingly useful in characterizing the cognitive and neural deficits in autism. An examination of brain connectivity in autism at a network level along with adaptations for scanning children with developmental disabilities is presented.
Here are some highlights from the February 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Methods for Study of Neuronal Morphogenesis: Ex vivo RNAi Electroporation in Embryonic Murine Cerebral Cortex
1Department of Molecular, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 2Institute for Brain Science, Brown University, 3Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University
To conduct a rapid assessment of the function of genes in the development of cerebral cortex, we describe methods involving the ex vivo electroporation of plasmids co-expressing inhibitory RNA (RNAi) and GFP in murine embryonic cortex. This protocol is amenable to the study of various aspects of neurodevelopment such as neurogenesis, neuronal migration and neuronal morphogenesis including dendrite and axon outgrowth.
1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Lab. PALM, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 3Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4ISS, INC.
We combined frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy measures of cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation with diffuse correlation spectroscopy measures of cerebral blood flow index to estimate an index of oxygen metabolism. We tested the utility of this measure as a bedside screening tool to evaluate the health and development of the newborn brain.
Utilizing a Cranial Window to Visualize the Middle Cerebral Artery During Endothelin-1 Induced Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
1Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, 2Department of Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 3Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
This article describes a method for visualizing rat cerebral arteries through a cranial window using temporal craniectomy in order to view proximal portions of the middle cerebral artery (Figure 1). This versatile method can be combined with various techniques of drug delivery to measure cerebral artery reactivity in vivo.
The endplate potential (EPP) component can be extracted from the surface EMG using a digital filter. The extracted EPP shows oscillation with a frequency of about 30 Hz.
In utero Electroporation followed by Primary Neuronal Culture for Studying Gene Function in Subset of Cortical Neurons
In utero electroporation is a valuable method for transfecting neuronal progenitor cells in vivo. Depending upon the placement of the electrodes and the developmental timepoint of electroporation, certain subsets of cortical cells can be targeted. Targeted cells can then be analyzed in vivo or in vitro for effects of genetic alteration.
1Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, 2Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 4Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University
The electrode-tissue interface of neural recording electrodes can be characterized with electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Application of voltage biasing changes the electrochemical properties of the electrode-tissue interface and can improve recording capability. Voltage biasing, EIS, CV, and neural recordings are complementary.
We describe a rapid methodology to isolate and culture hippocampal and cortical neurons from rodent embryos. This protocol allows us to perform experiments in which nearly pure neuronal cultures are required.
Time-lapse Imaging of Primary Preneoplastic Mammary Epithelial Cells Derived from Genetically Engineered Mouse Models of Breast Cancer
1Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, 2Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, 3Stem Cell Dynamics, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, 4Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, 5Department of Nanobiomedical Science and WCU Research Center of Nanobiomedical Science, Dankook University
Time-lapse imaging is used to assess behavior of primary preneoplastic mammary epithelial cells derived from genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer risk to determine if there are correlations between specific behavioral parameters and distinct genetic lesions.
Focal Cerebral Ischemia Model by Endovascular Suture Occlusion of the Middle Cerebral Artery in the Rat
Surgical induction of ischemic brain damage in the rat is a widely used model for stroke research. Here we demonstrate the induction of focal cerebral ischemia by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. Visualization of the resulting infarct by histological staining and magnetic resonance imaging is also shown.
Partially isolated cortex (“undercut”) is an efficient animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis. Here we demonstrate how to make a novel surgical device and use it to make more precise and consistent lesions to generate this model.
Spontaneous activity of developing neuronal networks can be measured using AM-ester forms of calcium-sensitive indicator dyes. Changes in intracellular calcium, indicating neuronal activation, are detected as transient changes in indicator fluorescence with one- or two-photon imaging. This protocol can be adapted for a range of developmentally-dependent neuronal networks in vitro.
We demonstrate a minimally invasive technique referred to as neonatal subventricular zone electroporation. The technique consists of injecting plasmid DNA into the lateral ventricles of neonatal pups and applying electrical current to deliver and genetically manipulate neural stem cells
We describe a process using laser-capture microdissection to isolate and extract RNA from a homogeneous cell population, pyramidal neurons, in layer III of the superior temporal gyrus in postmortem human brains. We subsequently linearly amplify (T7-based) mRNA, and hybridize the sample to the Affymetrix human X3P microarray.
A fundamental issue in our understanding of cortical circuitry is how networks in different cortical layers encode sensory information. Here we describe electrophysiological techniques utilizing multi-contact laminar electrodes to record single-units and local field potentials and present analyses to identify cortical layers.
A gene transfer method into the developing mouse brain is described by using a unique surgical method and special shape of electrodes. This unique technique allows transfection of plasmid DNA temporally and spatially, which will aid many neuroscientists in studying brain development.
This paper introduces an approach of combining laser scanning photostimulation with whole cell recordings in transgenic mice expressing GFP in limited inhibitory neuron populations. The technique allows for extensive mapping and quantitative analysis of local synaptic circuits of specific inhibitory cortical neurons.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, 2Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University
This article describes surface labeling and ex ovo tissue culture in the early chick embryo. Techniques amenable to time-lapse bright field, fluorescence, and optical coherence tomography imaging are presented. Tracking surface labels with high spatiotemporal resolution enables kinematic quantities such as morphogenetic strains (deformations) to be calculated in both two and three dimensions.
We describe a live whole animal quantitative measurement for permeability of the embryonic zebrafish brain. The technique analyzes the ability to retain cerebrospinal fluid and molecules of different molecular weights within the neural tube lumen and quantifies their movement out of the ventricles. This method is useful for determining differences in epithelial permeability and maturation during development and disease.
Preparation of Synaptoneurosomes from Mouse Cortex using a Discontinuous Percoll-Sucrose Density Gradient
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin, 2Department of Biochemistry, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin
A method to prepare translationally active, intact synaptoneurosomes (SNs) from mouse brain cortex is described. The method uses a discontinuous Percoll-sucrose density gradient allowing for the quick preparation of active SNs.
1Department of Children's Clinical Neurophysiology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 2Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, 3Department of Pediatrics, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 4Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki
This video explains the background theory of the neonatal EEG activity and the sensory responses, followed by a live demonstration of their recording in neonatal intensive care unit.
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.
1Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 3Department of Pathology, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
This video demonstrates the protocol for isolating and culturing explants of the mouse forebrain from embyonic day 12 mice. Procedures for removal of the uterus, embryos from uterus, and dissection of embryos are given. In addition the methodology for transferring these explants onto specialized membranes on which they are cultured is demonstrated. The development of the forebrain can be studied in vitro using this preparations as well as changes in gene expression.
As manual dexterity is a prerogative mainly of primates, behavioral tasks have been developed in macaque monkeys. Four reach and grasp prehension tasks, measuring hand manipulation ability and force, allow to establish functional recovery after a lesion of the central nervous system and to test the effect of a treatment.
We provide a protocol for the culture of highly purified hippocampal neurons from prenatal mouse brains without the use of a feeder glial cell layer.
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.
Understanding the function of the vertebrate central nervous system requires recordings from many neurons because cortical function arises on the level of populations of neurons. Here we describe an optical method to record suprathreshold neural activity with single-cell and single-spike resolution, dithered random-access scanning. This method records somatic fluorescence calcium signals from up to 100 neurons with high temporal resolution. A maximum-likelihood algorithm deconvolves the underlying suprathreshold neural activity from the somatic fluorescence calcium signals. This method reliably detects spikes with high detection efficiency and a low rate of false positives and can be used to study neural populations in vitro and in vivo.
Generation of an Immortalized Murine Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cell Line as an In Vitro Blood Brain Barrier Model
This method describes how to isolate and immortalize microvascular endothelial cells from mouse brain. We describe a step-by-step protocol starting from the homogenization of brain tissue, digestion steps, seeding and immortalization of the cells. Usually, it takes about five weeks to obtain a homogenous, immortalized microvascular endothelial cell line.
Until recently, expression studies on human brain were limited to quantification of RNA or protein. With the chromatin immunoprecipitation techniques described in this paper, it will be possible to map histone methylation and other epigenetic regulators of gene expression in postmortem brain.
Mapping the After-effects of Theta Burst Stimulation on the Human Auditory Cortex with Functional Imaging
Auditory processing is the basis of speech and music-related processing. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been used successfully to study cognitive, sensory and motor systems but has rarely been applied to audition. Here we investigated TMS combined with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to understand the functional organization of auditory cortex.
The anatomical organization of the primate brain can provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans. Unbiased stereology is a method for accurately and efficiently estimating the total neuron number (or other cell type) in a given reference space1.