Determining the number of cells in culture is important in standardization of culture conditions and in performing accurate quantitation experiments. In this video, we demonstrate how cells are counted using a hemacytometer.
In this video, we demonstrate a method for electrophoretic separation of proteins using poly-acrylimide gel electrophoresis (PAGE).
Following separation by electrophoretic methods, proteins in a gel can be detected by several staining methods. Staining of proteins with Coomassie Blue, Silver Staining, SYPRO Orange, SYPRO Ruby are demonstrated in this video.
Keeping the microscope optics clean is important for high-quality imaging. Dust, fingerprints, excess immersion oil, or mounting medium on or in a microscope causes reduction in contrast and resolution. DIC is especially sensitive to contamination and scratches on the lens surfaces. This protocol details the procedure for keeping the microscope clean.
The light microscope is a basic tool for the cell biologist, who should have a thorough understanding of how it works, how it should be aligned for different applications, and how it should be maintained as required to obtain maximum image-forming capacity and resolution. The components of the microscope are described in detail here.
This protocol highlights the principles and practical applications of Phase and Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) Microscopy
The eggs of Xenopus laevis intact, lysed, and/or fractionated are useful for a wide variety of experiments. This protocol shows how to induce egg laying, collect and dejelly the eggs, and sort the eggs to remove any damaged eggs.
Nuclear membrane assembly is an essential step in the cell division cycle; this process can be replicated in the test tube by combining Xenopus sperm chromatin, cytosol, and light membrane fractions. Complete nuclei are formed, including nuclear membranes with pore complexes, and these reconstituted nuclei are capable of normal nuclear processes.
As cells reach confluency, they must be subcultured or passaged. This video will demonstrate a procedure for subculturing both adherent and suspension cells.
Cultured mammalian cells are used extensively in cell biology studies. This video describes the basic skills required to freeze and store cells and how to recover frozen stocks.
Immunoblotting (western blotting) is a rapid and sensitive assay for the detection and characterization of proteins that works by exploiting the specificity inherent in antigen-antibody recognition. This video provides protocols for protein separation, blotting proteins onto membranes, immunoprobing, and visualization using chromogenic or chemiluminescent substrates.
Crude and fractionated Xenopus egg extracts can be used to provide ingredients for reconstituting cellular processes for morphological and biochemical analysis. Egg lysis and differential centrifugation are used to prepare the crude extract which in turn in used to prepare fractionated extracts and light membrane preparations.
In this video, we will show you how the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes of human embryonic stem cells can be analyzed using in gel activity assays.
Live Cell Response to Mechanical Stimulation Studied by Integrated Optical and Atomic Force Microscopy
1Department of Systems Biology and Translational Medicine, College of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Texas A&M Health Science Center, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University
This paper aims to instruct the reader in the operation of an integrated atomic force-optical imaging microscope for mechanical stimulation of live cells in culture. A step-by-step protocol is presented. A representative data set that shows live cell response to mechanical stimulation is presented.
A method for estimating the affinity constant of an agonist for the active state (Kb) of a G protein-coupled receptor is described. The analysis provides absolute or relative measures of Kb depending on whether constitutive receptor activation is measurable. Our method applies to various responses downstream from receptor activation.
The intravenous self-administration (IVSA) paradigm is considered to be the gold standard in examining the reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse in rodents. This manuscript outlines the experimental procedures and surgical techniques necessary to obtain reliable IVSA data. In particular, meticulous catheter implantation and maintenance are highlighted.
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
1Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Center for the Physics of Living Cells, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
This article describes the procedure for preparing a fluorescently-labeled version of bacteriophage lambda, infection of E. coli bacteria, following the infection outcome under the microscope, and analysis of infection results.
1Neural Development Group, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK, 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Imaging embryonic tissue in real-time is challenging over long periods of time. Here we present an assay for monitoring cellular and sub-cellular changes in chick spinal cord for long periods with high spatial and temporal resolution. This technique can be adapted for other regions of the nervous system and developing embryo.
We describe a protocol to identify key roles of host signaling molecules in lytic replication of a model herpesvirus, gamma herpesvirus 68 (γHV68). Utilizing genetically modified mouse strains and embryonic fibroblasts for γHV68 lytic replication, the protocol permits both phenotypic characterization and molecular interrogation of virus-host interactions in viral lytic replication.
This article depicts the recording of individual cells from fluorescently tagged neuronal populations in the intact mouse retina. By using two-photon infrared excitation transgenetically labeled cells were targeted for patch-clamp recording to study their light responses, receptive field properties, and morphology.
We demonstrate a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method to identify factor interactions at tissue-specific genes during or after the onset of tissue-specific gene expression in mouse embryonic tissue. This protocol should be widely applicable for the study of tissue-specific gene activation as it occurs during normal embryonic development.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
1Biology Department, Western Washington University, 2Washington State University Northwestern Research and Extension Center, 3Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University
Plastic films labeled "biodegradable" are commercially available for agricultural use as mulches. Tillage represents an attractive disposal method, but degradation under field conditions is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to develop methods for isolating native soil fungi and bacteria that colonize plastic mulch films after field burial.
Concentration Determination of Nucleic Acids and Proteins Using the Micro-volume Bio-spec Nano Spectrophotometer
This communication presents data on the accuracy and reproducibility of the BioSpec-nano UV-VIS spectrophotometer for dsDNA and protein quantitation. Even with ultra-small volumes (1 to 2 L), reproducibility is excellent, while the automated wiping function improves throughput and results in minimal carryover for more precise results.
A rapid method to obtain infiltrating leukocytes from the murine brain is described. This method utilizes a continuous Percoll gradient and discontinuous Ficoll gradient to select and purify the leukocyte-enriched layer. Isolated leukocytes may then be characterized by flow cytometric measurements.
Optimized Transfection Strategy for Expression and Electrophysiological Recording of Recombinant Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in HEK-293T Cells
Reliable method for highly efficient in vitro expression and subsequent electrophysiological recording of recombinant voltage-gated ion channels in cultured human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293T).
Dual Electrophysiological Recordings of Synaptically-evoked Astroglial and Neuronal Responses in Acute Hippocampal Slices
The preparation of acute brain slices from isolated hippocampi, as well as the simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons in stratum radiatum during stimulation of schaffer collaterals is described. The pharmacological isolation of astroglial potassium and glutamate transporter currents is demonstrated.
Using High Resolution Computed Tomography to Visualize the Three Dimensional Structure and Function of Plant Vasculature
1U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California - Davis, 3Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, 4Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 5Citrus Research & Education Center, University of Florida
High resolution x-ray computed tomography (HRCT) is a non-destructive diagnostic imaging technique that can be used to study the structure and function of plant vasculature in 3D. We demonstrate how HRCT facilitates exploration of xylem networks across a wide range of plant tissues and species.
A molecular beam coupled to tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometer at a synchrotron provides a convenient tool to explore the electronic structure of isolated gas phase molecules and clusters. Proton transfer mechanisms in DNA base dimers were elucidated with this technique.
The Use of Carboxyfluorescein Diacetate Succinimidyl Ester (CFSE) to Monitor Lymphocyte Proliferation
CFSE covalently labels long-lived intracellular molecules with the fluorescent dye, carboxyfluorescein. As such, when a CFSE-labeled cell divides, its progeny have half the amount of fluorescence, which can thereby be used to assess cell division. This article describes the procedures typically used for labeling mouse lymphocytes with CFSE.
1Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, 2Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
Here we present an electrophysiological method based on solid supported membranes with focus on its applications for the characterization of electrogenic membrane transporters.
The Ugi reaction has proved to be a convenient way to quickly create diverse libraries of compounds. It involves the reaction of an amine, an aldehyde, a carboxylic acid and an isonitrile typically in methanol at room temperature. In this video, we utilize a 48-slot Mettler-Toledo MiniBlock equipped with filtration tubes and a Mettler-Toledo MiniMapper automated liquid handler was used to deliver the reagents and solvent. The parameters of interest were the concentration, the solvent composition and the excess of some of the reagents.
When working in a laboratory, it is imperative to minimize sources of contamination. Aseptic technique refers to procedures that permit transfer of cultures and reagents while avoiding contact with non-sterile surfaces. Serological pipettes and micropipettors are used to measure precise volumes without compromising sterility of solutions used in experiments.
There are technical obstacles to measuring current flux through multiple ion channels simultaneously, and later discerning what portion of the transmembrane current is due to each channel type. To address this need, this method presents a way to generate the IV curve of individual channel types using specific frequency components.
The amperometric technique measures dopamine release from a single cell by detecting the oxidative current produced by spontaneous dopamine oxidization. Simultaneous voltage clamp and amperometry methodology reveal the mechanistic relationship between the overall "activity" of dopamine transporter and the regulatory role of this activity on the reverse transport of dopamine.
For many scientific studies requiring a biological and chemical analysis of cell populations the cells must be in a high state of purity. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) is a superior method in which to obtain pure cell populations.
Microiontophoresis and Micromanipulation for Intravital Fluorescence Imaging of the Microcirculation
Microiontophoresis entails movement of ions from a micropipette in response to a difference in electrical potential between the inside and outside of the micropipette. Biologically active molecules are thereby delivered in proportion to electrical current. We illustrate acetylcholine microiontophoresis in conjunction with micromanipulation to study endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the microcirculation.
We provide a step-by-step protocol for whole-cell patch clamp recording of Calcium Release-Activated Calcium (CRAC) currents in peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived human T lymphocytes.
Optical Recording of Electrical Activity in Guinea-pig Enteric Networks using Voltage-sensitive Dyes
This protocol illustrates how voltage-sensitive dyes enable optical recording of electrical activity from intact neural networks such as the plexuses of the guinea-pig enteric nervous system, with an adjustable resolution that ranges from single-cells to multi-ganglionic circuitry.
The manufacture, calibration and use of non-invasive vibrating probes to measure bioelectric current in various biological systems is described.
Imaging Analysis of Neuron to Glia Interaction in Microfluidic Culture Platform (MCP)-based Neuronal Axon and Glia Co-culture System
This study describes the procedures of setting up a novel neuronal axon and (astro)glia co-culture platform. In this co-culture system, manipulation of direct interaction between a single axon (and single glial cell) becomes feasible, allowing mechanistic analysis of the mutual neuron to glial signaling.
Magnetically-Assisted Remote Controlled Microcatheter Tip Deflection under Magnetic Resonance Imaging
1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, 2School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 3Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF Medical Center, 4University of California, San Francisco, 5Hansen Medical, Mountain View, CA
Current applied to an endovascular microcatheter with microcoil tip made by laser lathe lithography can achieve controllable deflections under magnetic resonance (MR) guidance, which may improve speed and efficacy of navigation of vasculature during various endovascular procedures.
Ubiquitination is a key posttranslational modification carried out by a set of three enzymes. Mutations of genes involved in this modification are associated with many different human diseases. Here, we describe protocols to detect protein ubiquitination in cultured cells in vivo and test tubes in vitro.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
1School of Dentistry, Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering & Repair, Cardiff University, 2Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University School of Medicine, 3Dermatology and Ophthalmology Research, Institute for Regenerative Cures, University of California at Davis
This protocol demonstrates methods used to establish 2D and 3D environments in custom-designed electrotactic chambers, which can track cells in vivo/ex vivo using time-lapse recording at the single cell level, in order to investigate galvanotaxis/electrotaxis and other cellular responses to direct current (DC) electric fields (EFs).
Development, Expansion, and In vivo Monitoring of Human NK Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) and and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
This protocol describes the development, expansion, and in vivo imaging of NK cells derived from hESCs and iPSCs.
Application of a NMDA Receptor Conductance in Rat Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons Using the Dynamic Clamp Technique
In this video, we demonstrate how to apply a conductance into a dopaminergic neuron recorded in the whole cell configuration in rat brain slices. This technique is called the dynamic clamp.
Simultaneous Intracellular Recording of a Lumbar Motoneuron and the Force Produced by its Motor Unit in the Adult Mouse In vivo
This new method permits the simultaneous intracellular recording of a single adult mouse motoneuron and the measurement of the force produced by its muscle fibers. The combined investigation of the electrical and mechanical properties of motor units in normal and genetically modified animals is a breakthrough for the study of the neuromuscular system.
In this video, we demonstrate the EpiDerm Skin Irritation test (EpiDerm SIT) developed and validated for in vitro skin irritation testing of chemicals, including cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients.