Larval zebrafish represent the first vertebrate model system to allow simultaneous patch clamp recording from a spinal motor-neuron and target skeletal muscle. This video demonstrates the microscopic methods used to identify a segmental CaP motor-neuron and target muscle cells as well as the methodologies for recording from each cell type.
We developed a new protocol to improve efficiency of in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons. The differentiated ES cells acquired motor neurons features as evidenced by expression of neuronal and motor neuron markers using immunohistochemical techniques.
Paired Nanoinjection and Electrophysiology Assay to Screen for Bioactivity of Compounds using the Drosophila melanogaster Giant Fiber System
A rapid in vivo assay to test for neuromodulatory compounds using the Giant Fiber System (GFS) of Drosophila melanogaster is described. Nanoinjections in the head of the animal along with electrophysiological recordings of the GFS can reveal bioactivity of compounds on neurons or muscles.
A method of tracing synaptically connected neurons is described. We use TVA specificity of an upstream cell to probe whether a cell population of interest receives synaptic input from genetically defined cell types.
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.
Collecting Variable-concentration Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Datasets in Order to Determine Binding Mechanisms
ITC is a powerful tool for studying the binding of a ligand to its host. In complex systems however, several models may fit the data equally well. The method described here provides a means to elucidate the appropriate binding model for complex systems and extract the corresponding thermodynamic parameters.
Targeting of Deep Brain Structures with Microinjections for Delivery of Drugs, Viral Vectors, or Cell Transplants
In this article, we show a method to make glass capillary needles with a 50-μm lumen. This technique significantly reduces the brain damage, minimizes passive diffusion of drugs and allows a precise targeting into the rodent brain.
A reliable and useful approach to detect histone modifications on specific plant genes is described. The approach combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and real-time quantitative PCR. It allows detection of histone modifications on specific genes with a role in diverse physiological processes.
The peritoneal cavity in mammals contains different immune cell populations crucial for innate immune responses. An efficient isolation method is required for biochemical and functional analyses of these cells. Here we provide a comprehensive method for the isolation of peritoneal cavity cells in the mouse.
Establishing an orthotopic bladder tumor model to evaluate antitumor effects of intravesically delivered saRNA and monitoring tumor growth by ultrasound and bioluminescent imaging.
Floral-dip Transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana to Examine pTSO2::β-glucuronidase Reporter Gene Expression
This article illustrates the floral-dip method of Agrobacterium tumefaciens -mediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. By introducing a cell-cycle regulated promoter-reporter, pTSO2::β-glucuronidase (GUS), into Arabidopsis, we illustrates how one detects GUS reporter expression in transgenic seedlings.
We use the patch-clamp technique to measure GABA-activated single-channel currents (GABAA channels, GABAA receptors) and the synaptic and tonic currents they generate in neurons. Activation of the channels decreases neuronal excitability in health and disease 1,2,3,4.
Arabidopsis thaliana Polar Glycerolipid Profiling by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) Coupled with Gas-Liquid Chromatography (GLC)
Composition of polar lipid extracts and the fatty acid composition of individual glycerolipids are determined in a simple and robust lipid profiling experiment. For this purpose, glycerolipids are isolated by thin layer chromatography and subjected to transmethylation of their acyl groups. Fatty acyl methylesters are quantified by gas-liquid chromatography.
Live Cell Imaging of Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae using Automated Time-lapse Microscopy
This protocol provides a step-by-step procedure to monitor single cell behavior of different bacteria in time using automated fluorescence time-lapse microscopy. Furthermore, we provide guidelines how to analyze the microscopy images.
Assessing Hepatic Metabolic Changes During Progressive Colonization of Germ-free Mouse by 1H NMR Spectroscopy
A progressive colonization procedure is described to further assess its impact on the host hepatic metabolism. Colonization is monitored non invasively by evaluating the urinary excretion of microbial co-metabolites by NMR-based metabolic profiling while hepatic metabolism is assessed by High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HR MAS) NMR profiling of intact biopsy.
Combination of genomics, co-expression gene analysis and the identification of target compounds via metabolism give gene functional annotation.
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.
A general protocol for the use of isothermal titration calorimetry to monitor the binding thermodynamics for biological systems with moderate binding affinities is presented.
Methods for using alphavirus transducing systems to express fluorescent reporters in vitro and in adult mosquitoes are described. This technique may be adapted to express any protein of interest in lieu of or in addition to a reporter.
1Section on Neuronal Structure, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, NIAAA, NIH, 2Department Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, 3Oregon National Primate Research Center, Division of Neuroscience, Oregon Health and Science University
We demonstrate the use of the gene gun to introduce fluorescent dyes, such as DiI, into neurons in brain slices from rodents and non-human primates of different ages. In this particular case, we use adult mice (3-6 months old) and adult cynomologus monkeys (9-15 years old). This technique, originally described by the laboratory of Dr. Lichtman (Gan et al., 2000), is well suited for the study of dendritic branching and dendritic spine morphology and can be combined with traditional immunostaining, if detergents are kept at a low concentration.
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.
A Visual Description of the Dissection of the Cerebral Surface Vasculature and Associated Meninges and the Choroid Plexus from Rat Brain
1Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, 2Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine, National Center for Toxicological Research, 3Office of Planning, Finance, and Information Technology, National Center for Toxicological Research
This video presentation shows a method of harvesting the two most important highly vascular structures that support forebrain function. They are the cerebral surface (superficial) vasculature along with associated meninges (MAV) and the choroid plexus which are necessary for cerebral blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) homeostasis.
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.