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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We describe a strategy to monitor maturation and migration of pulmonary dendritic cells in response to ovalbumin in the setting of ovalbumin induced allergic airway inflammation. This strategy can be modified to assess migration of pulmonary dendritic cells in settings of infection.
We have developed novel laboratory tools and protocols for intravital imaging acquisition of the thymus. Our technique should help in the identification of “niches” within the thymus where T cell development occurs.
In this video-article we present a method for the isolation and purification of Drosophila peripheral neurons using a fast magnetic bead assisted cell sorting strategy. RNA obtained from the isolated cells can be readily used for downstream applications including microarray analyses.
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.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
1Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Here we present two techniques for manipulating gene expression in murine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) by in utero and ex vivo electroporation. These techniques enable one to examine how alterations in gene expression affect RGC development, axon guidance, and functional properties.
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.
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 provide a reproducible method to induce type 1 diabetes (T1D) in mice within two weeks by the adoptive transfer of islet antigen-specific, primary CD4+ T cells.
Quantitative Imaging of Lineage-specific Toll-like Receptor-mediated Signaling in Monocytes and Dendritic Cells from Small Samples of Human Blood
We describe use of ImageStream technology (www.amnis.com), which combines quantitative flow cytometry with simultaneous high-resolution digital imaging, to quantify cellular mechanisms of primary immune cells from well-defined patient cohorts. Our studies provide a blueprint for translational investigations to quantify lineage specific cellular responses in small samples from subject cohorts.
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.
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.
Recent advances in 2-photon microscopy have enabled real-time in situ imaging of live tissues in animal models, thereby enhancing our ability to investigate cellular behavior in both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Here, we outline the preparations required to perform intravital imaging of the mouse popliteal lymph node.
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.
Adipose tissue (AT) is a site of intense immune cell activation and interaction. Almost all cells of the immune system are present in AT and their ratios are altered by obesity. Proper isolation, quantification, and characterization of AT immune cell populations are critical for understanding their role in immunometabolic disease.
Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging
A method is described for labeling neurons with fluorescent dyes in predetermined functional micro-domains of the neocortex. First, intrinsic signal optical imaging is used to obtain a functional map. Then two-photon microscopy is used to label and image neurons within a micro-domain of the map.
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.
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.
Here we describe a method for the isolation of hepatic stellate cells from mouse liver. For stellate cell purification, mouse livers are digested in situ and in vitro by pronase-collagenase treatment prior to density gradient centrifugation. This technique yields highly pure hepatic stellate 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.
In this video-article we present a method for isolating single or multiple Drosophila da neurons from third instar larvae using the infrared capture (IR) class of Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM). RNA obtained from the isolated neurons can be readily used for downstream applications including qRT-PCR or microarray analyses.
Multicolor Time-lapse Imaging of Transgenic Zebrafish: Visualizing Retinal Stem Cells Activated by Targeted Neuronal Cell Ablation
In this video, techniques for multicolor confocal time-lapse imaging and targeted cell ablation are provided. Time-lapse imaging is used to monitor the behavior of multiple cell types of interest in vivo. Targeted cell ablation facilitates the study neural circuit function and cell-specific neuronal regeneration paradigms.
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.
1Lehrstuhl für Biomolekulare Sensoren, Technische Universität München, 2Center for Integrated Protein Science (Munich) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Technische Universität München, 3TUM Institute for Advanced Study and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Technische Universität München, 4Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Technische Universität München
Visualizing individual cells in densely packed tissues, such as terminal Schwann cells (SCs) at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), is challenging. "Sequential photo-bleaching" allows delineating single terminal SCs, for instance in the triangularis sterni muscle explant, a convenient nerve-muscle preparation, where sequential bleaching can be combined with time-lapse imaging and post-hoc immunostainings.
In ovo Electroporation of miRNA-based Plasmids in the Developing Neural Tube and Assessment of Phenotypes by DiI Injection in Open-book Preparations
A method by which gene expression in the neural tube can be downregulated in a cell type-specific, traceable manner is described. We demonstrate how in ovo electroporation of microRNA-based plasmids that elicit spatiotemporally controlled RNA interference can be used to investigate commissural axon guidance in the developing neural tube.
Establish a chronic bacterial infected mouse model with persistent Salmonella typhimurium colonization in intestine for 27 weeks.
Postsynaptic Recordings at Afferent Dendrites Contacting Cochlear Inner Hair Cells: Monitoring Multivesicular Release at a Ribbon Synapse
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery., The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from auditory nerve fiber dendrites at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse in the mammalian cochlea.
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.
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.
We describe a method for generating regulatory, memory and naïve T cells from a single human blood donor. Polarized Tregs can be then compared to other subsets in a variety of genetic and functional applications with genetic homogeneity, including a suppression assay also detailed here.
An efficient way to isolate lymphocytes from mouse genital tract is described. This method takes advantage of enzyme digestion and Percoll gradient separation to allow efficient isolation. This technique is also adaptable to for use in other species
Detection of Protein Palmitoylation in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons by Immunoprecipitation and Acyl-Biotin Exchange (ABE)
The reversible addition of palmitate to proteins is an important regulator of intracellular protein trafficking. This is of particular interest in neurons where many synaptic proteins are palmitoylated. We utilize a simple biochemical method to detect palmitoylated proteins in cultured neurons, which can be adapted for multiple cell types and tissues.
This paper presents a flow cytometry-based method to investigate the immune composition of aortas. The paper also illustrates an additional technique that allows examining surrounding adventitia and vessel wall separately. This method opens possibilities to perform phenotypical analyses of aortic leukocytes and apply several immunological assays for atherosclerosis studies.
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.
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.
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.
A method for isolation of adherent inflammatory leukocytes from brain blood vessels of Plasmodium berghei ANKA-infected mice is described. The method allows quantification as well as phenotypic characterization of isolated leukocytes after staining with fluorescent antibodies and subsequent analysis by flow cytometry.
1Interdisciplinary Immunology Program, University of Iowa, and the VA Medical Center, 2Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, and the VA Medical Center, 3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, 4Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 5Division of Dermatology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Hanley-Hardison Research Center, 6Interdisciplinary Immunology Program, Iowa City VA Medical Center, 7Departments of Internal Medicine, Microbiology and Epidemiology, University of Iowa
An in vivo imaging system is used to generate quantitative measurements of murine infection with the Trypanosomatid protozoan Leishmania. This is a non-invasive and non-lethal method for detecting parasites expressing luciferase within many tissues throughout the course of chronic Leishmania spp. infection.
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
An Organotypic Slice Assay for High-Resolution Time-Lapse Imaging of Neuronal Migration in the Postnatal Brain
This protocol describes an organotypic slice assay optimized for the postnatal brain and high-resolution time-lapse imaging of neuroblast migration in the rostral migratory stream.