Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
1Department of Biological Sciences and Institute for Neuroscience, George Washington University, 2Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 3Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco
Here we describe a molecular readout of long-term olfactory adaptation in Caenorhabditis elegans. The Protein Kinase G, EGL-4, is necessary for stable adaptation responses in the primary sensory neuron pair called AWC. During prolonged odor exposure EGL-4 translocates from the cytosol to nucleus of the AWC.
Tracking Neutrophil Intraluminal Crawling, Transendothelial Migration and Chemotaxis in Tissue by Intravital Video Microscopy
We describe a protocol of brightfield intravital microscopy for measuring dynamic neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions during neutrophil recruitment in response to the source of a neutrophil chemoattractant in vivo. Neutrophil intraluminal crawling, transendothelial migration and chemotaxis in mouse cremaster muscle tissue are visualized with time-lapsed video photography and tracked with ImageJ.
This protocol describes the development of a microfluidic device for investigating bacterial chemotaxis in stable concentration gradients of chemoeffectors.
A method of quantitatively evaluating the chemotactic response of Caenorhabditis elegans is described. A chemotactic index (CI) was employed as a way to precisely evaluate the response of worms to certain targets, and serve as a platform of comparison between strains and compounds of interest.
Imaging G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated Signaling Events that Control Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum
Here, we describe detailed live cell imaging methods for investigating chemotaxis. We present fluorescence microscopic methods to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling events in migrating cells. Measurement of signaling events permits us to further understand how a GPCR-signaling network achieves gradient sensing of chemoattractants and controls directional migration of eukaryotic cells.
Eggs and the extracellular coatings around eggs frequently release peptides, proteins and small molecules that communicate with sperm to guide them to the egg thereby promoting fertilization. Using frog sperm we describe and compare two classes of assays used to detect sperm chemoattraction – sperm accumulation assays and sperm tracking assays.
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.
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 ECIS/Taxis system is an automated, real-time assay that measures cellular chemotaxis. In this assay, cells move beneath a layer of agarose to arrive at a target electrode. Cellular movement is measured by the onset of resistance to AC current 0.
We describe a protocol for the microfabrication of the gradient-generating microfluidic device that can generate spatial and temporal gradients in well-defined microenvironment. In this approach, the gradient-generating microfluidic device can be used to study directed cell migration, embryogenesis, wound healing, and cancer metastasis.
Here are some highlights from the September 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
A method for the assembly of adhesive and soluble gradients in a microscopy chamber for live cell migration studies is described. The engineered environment combines antifouling surfaces and adhesive tracks with solution gradients and therefore allows one to determine the relative importance of guidance cues.
Recording Multicellular Behavior in Myxococcus xanthus Biofilms using Time-lapse Microcinematography
To study Myxococcus xanthus swarm behavior, we have designed a time-lapse microcinematography protocol that can be modified for different assays. It employs standard growth conditions adapted for microscopy, and yields reproducible results by the use of inexpensive, reusable silicone gaskets. We have used this method to quantify multicellular chemotaxis.
An approach to analyze the migration of explanted cells (trunk neural crest cells) is described. This method is inexpensive, gentle, and capable of distinguishing chemotaxis from both chemokinesis and other influences on migratory polarity such as those derived from cell-cell interactions within the primary trunk neural crest cell culture.
This paper describes the methodology to determine the chemotactic response of leukocytes to specific ligands and identify interactions between the cell surface receptors and cytosolic proteins using live cell imaging techniques.
An alternative way of isolating mouse embryonic motoneurons from the spinal cord is described. The method takes into account the fact that lectin can bind to the low affinity nerve growth factor receptor p75NTR. This lectin-based preplating allows a purification similar to that with a specific antibody against the p75NTR.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
The 3-D structure of a molecule provides a unique understanding of how the molecule functions. The principal method for structure determination at near-atomic resolution is X-ray crystallography. Here, we demonstrate the current methods for obtaining three-dimensional crystals of any given macromolecule that are suitable for structure determination by X-ray crystallography.
1Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, CNRS (UMR 8104), 2Inserm, U1016, Paris, France
This protocol describes a method to image fluorescent T cells introduced into lymph node slices. The technique permits real-time analyses of T cell migration with traditional widefield fluorescence or confocal microscopes.
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.
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Cornell University, 2Neurosurgical Laboratory for Translational Stem Cell Research, Weill Cornell Brain Tumor Center, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, 3Cell Morphology Department, Instituto de Investigacion Principe Felipe, 4Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University
We demonstrate that the over expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) enhances the motility of neural stem cells(NSCs) using a novel agarose gel based microfluidic device. This technology can be readily adaptable to other mammalian cell systems where cell sources are scarce, such as human neural stem cells, and the turn around time is critical.
The fabrication of microfluidic channels and their implementation in experiments for studying the chemotactic foraging behaviour of marine microbes within a patchy nutrient seascape and the swimming behaviour of bacteria within shear flow are described.
Density Gradient Multilayered Polymerization (DGMP): A Novel Technique for Creating Multi-compartment, Customizable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
1Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Diego, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
Here we describe a unique strategy for creating biocompatible, layered matrices with continuous interfaces between distinct layers for tissue engineering. Such a scaffold could provide an ideal customizable environment to modulate cell behavior by various biological, chemical or mechanical cues
Organotypic Slice Cultures of Embryonic Ventral Midbrain: A System to Study Dopaminergic Neuronal Development in vitro
A method to generate organotypic slices from the E12.5 murine embryonic midbrain is described. The organotypic slice cultures can be used to observe the behavior of dopaminergic neurons or other ventral midbrain neurons.
Here we describe a novel high-content chemically induced inflammation assay aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory bioactives. We have successfully combined automated microscopy with custom developed software scripts enabling automated quantification of the inflammatory response as well as further data processing, analysis, mining, and storage.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
In this video, we demonstrate the procedure of CD40-activation and expansion of murine B cells from splenocytes of C57BL/6 mice, which can be used as a model antigen-presenting cell (APC) to study induction of immunity.
Here, we describe a non-invasive two-photon (2P) microscopy approach to study leukocyte homing in the mouse footpad. We discuss the technical aspects of our tissue imaging preparation and walk the reader through a typical experiment from initial set up to execution and data collection.
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.
Measuring Intracellular Ca2+ Changes in Human Sperm using Four Techniques: Conventional Fluorometry, Stopped Flow Fluorometry, Flow Cytometry and Single Cell Imaging
1Departamento de Genética del Desarrollo y Fisiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2Math and Sciences Department, Edison State College
Intracellular Ca2+ dynamics are very important in sperm physiology and Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dyes constitute a versatile tool to study them. Population experiments (fluorometry and stopped flow fluorometry) and single cell experiments (flow cytometry and single cell imaging) are used to track spatio-temporal [Ca2+] changes in human sperm cells.
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.
This method allows monitoring of cells in real time and quantitative measurements of different cell migration parameters such as speed, displacement, and velocity. Unlike the traditional methods, this real time approach is not based on endpoint quantitative migration measurements; instead it allows monitoring and calculating different parameters continuously.
Insect hemocytes carry out many important functions, both immune and non-immune, throughout all stages of insect development. Our present knowledge of hemocyte types and function comes from studies on insect genetic models. Here, we present a method for extracting, quantifying and visualizing hemocytes from wild caterpillars.
Aqueous two-phase systems were used to simultaneously pattern multiple populations of cells. This fast and easy method for cell patterning takes advantage of the phase separation of aqueous solutions of dextran and polyethylene glycol and the interfacial tension that exists between the two polymer solutions.
Inositol pyrophosphates play an important role in human pathologies such cancer, diabetes and obesity; however, the exact mechanism of action is a matter of dispute. The lack of commercially available inositol pyrophosphates renders detailed studies problematic. Here we describe a simple protocol to produce and isolate milligrams of inositol pyrophosphates.
Three-dimensional Cell Culture Model for Measuring the Effects of Interstitial Fluid Flow on Tumor Cell Invasion
Interstitial fluid flow is elevated in solid tumors and can modulate tumor cell invasion. Here we describe a technique to apply interstitial fluid flow to cells embedded in a matrix and then measure its effects on cell invasion. This technique can be easily adapted to study other systems.
1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Center, 3Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University
Transparent zebrafish embryos have proved useful model hosts to visualize and functionally study interactions between innate immune cells and intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella typhimurium and Mycobacterium marinum. Micro-injection of bacteria and multi-color fluorescence imaging are essential techniques involved in the application of zebrafish embryo infection models.
Evaluation of Cancer Stem Cell Migration Using Compartmentalizing Microfluidic Devices and Live Cell Imaging
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A compartmentalizing microfluidic device for investigating cancer stem cell migration is described. This novel platform creates a viable cellular microenvironment and enables microscopic visualization of live cell locomotion. Highly motile cancer cells are isolated to study molecular mechanisms of aggressive infiltration, potentially leading to more effective future therapies.
This video demonstrates how to measure cell invasion through cell culture inserts using a fluorescence-based methodology.
Profiling of Methyltransferases and Other S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine-binding Proteins by Capture Compound Mass Spectrometry (CCMS)
Capture Compounds are trifunctional small molecules to reduce the complexity of the proteome by functional reversible small molecule-protein interaction followed by photo-crosslinking and purification. Here we use a Capture Compound with S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine-binding as selectivity function to isolate methyltransferases from an Escherichia coli whole cell lysate and identify them by MS.
The rapid development, small size and transparency of zebrafish are tremendous advantages for the study of innate immune control of infection1-4. Here we demonstrate techniques for infecting zebrafish larvae using the fungal pathogen Candida albicans by microinjection, methodology recently used to implicate phagocyte NADPH oxidase activity in control of fungal dimorphism5.
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.