We present a protocol that permits to view and to quantitatively asses the morphology of the dendritic tree of individual Purkinje cells grown in organotypic cerebellar slice cultures. This protocol is intended to promote studies on the mechanisms of Purkinje cell dendritic development.
Immunohistological Labeling of Microtubules in Sensory Neuron Dendrites, Tracheae, and Muscles in the Drosophila Larva Body Wall
To understand how complex cell shapes, such as neuronal dendrites, are achieved during development, it is important to be able to accurately assay microtubule organization. Here we describe a robust immunohistological labeling method to examine microtubule organization of dendritic arborization neuron sensory dendrites, trachea, muscle, and other Drosophila larva body wall tissues.
We have developed a computer program to analyze neuronal morphology. In combination with two existing open source analysis tools, our program performs Sholl analysis and determines the number of neurites, branch points, and neurite tips. The analyses are performed so that local changes in neurite morphology can be observed.
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.
Morphological Analysis of Drosophila Larval Peripheral Sensory Neuron Dendrites and Axons Using Genetic Mosaics
The dendritic arborization sensory neurons of the Drosophila larval peripheral nervous system are useful models to elucidate both general and neuron class-specific mechanisms of neuron differentiation. We present a practical guide to generate and analyze dendritic arborization neuron genetic mosaics.
In situ patch clamp recordings are used for electrophysiological characterization of neurons in intact circuitry. In the Drosophila genetic model patch clamping is difficult because the CNS is small and surrounded by a robust sheath. This article describes the procedure to remove the sheath and clean neurons for subsequent patch clamp recordings.
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.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Scholars Academy/MARC Scholar, University of Houston-Downtown, 3Genes and Development Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors1,2 while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons3. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
Mosaic Analysis of Gene Function in Postnatal Mouse Brain Development by Using Virus-based Cre Recombination
1Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, 3Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
An in vivo method to test gene function in postnatal brain is described. Recombinant AAVs expressing Cre and/or a fluorescent protein are injected into neonatal mouse brain. Mosaic gene inactivation and sparse neuronal labeling are achieved, allowing rapid analysis of gene function in processes critical to neural circuit development.
Patterned Photostimulation with Digital Micromirror Devices to Investigate Dendritic Integration Across Branch Points
Digital micromirror devices (DMD) can generate complex patterns in time and space with which to control neuronal excitability. Issues relevant to the design, construction, and operation of DMD systems are discussed. Such a system enabled the demonstration of non-linear integration across distal dendritic branch points.
We describe a protocol for using bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) or Matrigel to selectively induce dendritic growth in primary sympathetic neurons dissociated from the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of perinatal rats.
In this video and supplemental material, we show a protocol for chronic in vivo imaging of the intact brain using a thinned-skull preparation.
Voltage-sensitive Dye Recording from Axons, Dendrites and Dendritic Spines of Individual Neurons in Brain Slices
An imaging technique for monitoring of membrane potential changes with sub-micrometer spatial and sub-millisecond temporal resolution is described. The technique, based on laser excitation of voltage-sensitive dyes, allows measurements of signals in axons and axon collaterals, terminal dendritic branches, and individual dendritic spines.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
Numerous recent studies have identified mutations in synaptic proteins associated with brain pathologies. Primary cultured cortical neurons offer great flexibility in examining the effects of these disease-associated proteins on dendritic spine morphology and motility.
Antigen presentation in secondary lymphoid organs by dendritic cells is crucial for the initiation of the T cell mediated adaptive immune response. Here we demonstrate the culture of bone marrow derived murine dendritic cells, activation, and labeling for 2-photon imaging.
This protocol outlines the steps required to dissect, transfect via electroporation and culture mouse hippocampal and cortical neurons. Short-term cultures may be used for studies of axon outgrowth and guidance, while long-term cultures can be used for studies of synaptogenesis and dendritic spine analysis.
The mouse model of cecal ligation and puncture as a valuable tool for the study of human sepsis.
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.
This video demonstrates the procedure for differentiating myeloid dendritic cells from mouse bone marrow. Isolation of mouse tibia and femur, and processing of bone marrow are demonstrated. Pictures demonstrating cell morphology before and after differentiation, and figures depicting cell phenotype and IL-12 production following maturation using CpG are shown.
Methods for purifying the cholesterol binding toxin streptolysin O from recombinant E. coli and visualization of toxin binding to live eukaryotic cells are described. Localized delivery of toxin induces rapid and complex changes in targeted cells revealing novel aspects of toxin biology.
1Institute of Pathology, Laboratory of Molecular Tumor Pathology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 2Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Free University Berlin, 3Laboratory for Functional Genomics Charité (LFGC), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 4Comprehensive Cancer Center Charité, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
This article describes the preparation of freshly obtained melanoma tissue into primary cell cultures, and how to remove contaminations of erythrocytes and fibroblasts from the tumor cells. Finally, we describe how CD133+ putative melanoma stem cells are sorted from the CD133- bulk using Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS).
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.
The localization and distribution of proteins provide important information for understanding their cellular functions. The superior spatial resolution of electron microscopy (EM) can be used to determine the subcellular localization of a given antigen following immunohistochemistry. For tissues of the central nervous system (CNS), preserving structural integrity while maintaining antigenicity has been especially difficult in EM studies. Here, we adopt a procedure that has been used to preserve structures and antigens in the CNS to study and characterize synaptic proteins in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
A minimally invasive protocol to stabilize the mouse spinal column and perform repetitive in vivo spinal cord imaging using two-photon microscopy is described. This method combines a spinal stabilization device and an anesthetic regimen to minimize respiratory-induced movements and produce raw imaging data that require no alignment or other post-processing.
In this article, a high throughput method is presented for the synthesis of oligosaccharides and their attachment to the surface of polyanhydride nanoparticles for further use in targeting specific receptors on antigen presenting cells.
1Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, 2Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Pennsylvania State University, 4Section of Neurobiology, University of California, San Diego
We present a method to form an imaging window in the mouse skull that spans millimeters and is stable for months without inflammation of the brain. This method is well suited for longitudinal studies of blood flow, cellular dynamics, and cell/vascular structure using two-photon microscopy.
Lateral Diffusion and Exocytosis of Membrane Proteins in Cultured Neurons Assessed using Fluorescence Recovery and Fluorescence-loss Photobleaching
This report describes the use of live cell imaging and photobleach techniques to determine the surface expression, transport pathways and trafficking kinetics of exogenously expressed, pH-sensitive GFP-tagged proteins at the plasma membrane of neurons.
A technique to genetically manipulate epithelial cells within whole ex vivo cultured embryonic mouse submandibular glands (SMGs) using viral gene transfer is described. This method takes advantage of the innate ability of SMG epithelium and mesenchyme to spontaneously recombine after separation and infection of epithelial rudiments with adenoviral vectors.
DiI-Labeling of DRG Neurons to Study Axonal Branching in a Whole Mount Preparation of Mouse Embryonic Spinal Cord
The stereotyped projections of sensory afferents into the rodent spinal cord offer an easily accessible experimental system to study axonal branching through the tracing of single axons.
1Experimental and Clinical Research Center, A joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, 2Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Tracking of cells using MRI has gained remarkable attention in the past years. This protocol describes the labeling of dendritic cells with fluorine (19F)-rich particles, the in vivo application of these cells, and monitoring the extent of their migration to the draining lymph node with 19F/1H MRI and 19F MRS.
In order to study the changes of nociceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) in painful neuropathies (PN), we developed protocols that could directly examine three-dimensional morphological changes observed in nociceptive IENFs. Three-dimensional analysis of IENFs has the potential to evaluate the morphological changes of IENF in PN.
Standardized Preparation of Single-Cell Suspensions from Mouse Lung Tissue using the gentleMACS Dissociator
Dissociating cells from specific tissue types requires specific parameters for tissue agitation to obtain a high volume of viable, culturable cells. The Miltenyi gentleMACS dissociator optimizes this task with a simple, practical protocol. In this publication the use of this apparatus on lung tissue is explained.
1Temple University, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, 2Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, 3Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 4Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine
An in vivo imaging protocol to monitor primary sensory axons following dorsal root crush is described. The procedures utilize wide-field fluorescence microscopy and thy1-YFP transgenic mice, and permit repeated imaging of axon regeneration over 4 cm in the PNS and axon interactions with the interface of the CNS.
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.
Here we describe a novel assay for monitoring prion uptake and trafficking by immune cells immediately following intraperitoneal inoculation by purifying and fluorescently labeling aggregated prion rods from infected brain material then monitoring their uptake and movement from the injection site and characterizing the cells mediating these events.
Here we provide a protocol for culturing rat cortical neurons in the presence of a glial feeder layer. The cultured neurons establish polarity and create synapses, and can be separated from the glia for use in various applications, such as electrophysiology, calcium imaging, cell survival assays, immunocytochemistry, and RNA/DNA/protein isolation.
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.
By tagging the extracellular domains of membrane receptors with superecliptic pHluorin, and by imaging these fusion receptors in cultured mouse neurons, we can directly visualize individual vesicular insertion events of the receptors to the plasma membrane. This technique will be instrumental in elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing receptor insertion to the plasma membrane.
There is an increasing interest in understanding the immunological functions of specific subpopulations of cells in Peyer's patches (PPs), the primary inductive sites of gut-associated lymphoid tissues. Here we outline parallel protocols for preparing PP single cell preparations for flow cytometric analysis and PP cryosections for immunostaining.
A push-pull method for collecting plant volatiles is described. The method allows for a comparison of volatiles induced by herbivore feeding, exogenous methyl jasmonate, and mechanical damage. This technique is also used to investigate the volatile response of undamaged branches to exposure to volatiles from herbivore-damaged branches within blueberry plants.
Whole-mount Immunohistochemical Analysis for Embryonic Limb Skin Vasculature: a Model System to Study Vascular Branching Morphogenesis in Embryo
We introduce a whole-mount immunohistochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy with multiple labelling for analyzing intricate vascular network formation in mouse embryonic limb skin.
We present our optimized high-throughput nucleofection protocol as an efficient way of transfecting primary human monocyte-derived dendritic cells with either plasmid DNA or siRNA without causing cell maturation. We further provide evidence for successful siRNA silencing of targeted gene RIG-I at both the mRNA and protein levels.
Generation and Labeling of Murine Bone Marrow-derived Dendritic Cells with Qdot Nanocrystals for Tracking Studies
1Molecular and Cell Biology Program, Ohio University, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University
Dendritic cells uptake antigens and migrate towards immune organs to present processed antigens to T cells. Qdot nanocrystal labeling provides a long-lasting and stable fluorescent signal. This allows tracking of dendritic cells to different organs by fluorescent microscopy.
The inner ear sensory epithelium of adult zebrafish is a good model system for understanding the mechanisms of hair cell regeneration in adult vertebrates. This protocol demonstrates the fine dissection of the epithelia, through which we can get tissue samples for studying the regenerative events at cellular and subcellular levels.
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.
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.
Here, we describe a method for isolation, culture and manipulation of mouse embryonic pancreas. This represents an excellent ex vivo system for studying various aspects of pancreatic development, including morphogenesis, differentiation and growth. Pancreatic bud explants can be cultured for several days and used in a range of different applications, including whole-mount immunofluorescence and live imaging.
Expanding Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes from Umbilical Cord Blood that Target Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Adenovirus
1Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 4Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 5Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Here we describe the first good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant method of producing virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) from umbilical cord blood, a source of predominantly naîve T cells.
A highly purified preparation of mouse lung dendritic cells is described. Specific emphasis is given to the isolation of conventional dendritic cell subset.