We present a method to visualize cuticle in live C. elegans using the red fluorescent lipophilic dye DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate), which is commonly used in C. elegans to visualize environmentally exposed neurons. With this optimized protocol, alae and annular cuticular structures are stained by DiI and observed using compound microscopy.
Neural induction is the first step in the formation of the brain. It is a mechanism by which Hensen's node (organizer), instructs adjacent tissue to adopt a neural fate, i.e. to give rise to the nervous system. This video demonstrates an assay for neural induction in chick embryo.
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.
Lipid Vesicle-mediated Affinity Chromatography using Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (LIMACS): a Novel Method to Analyze Protein-lipid Interaction
To test the interaction of a protein with its target lipid we used MACS and Annexin V-conjugated magnetic beads and lipid vesicles synthesized from the target lipid and Annexin V-binding phosphatidylserine. Proteins bound to the target lipid are co-purified and analyzed after elution from the beads.
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.
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.
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.
We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
1Division of Developmental Neuroscience, United Centers for Advanced Research and Translational Medicine (ART), Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2The Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST)
Whole embryo culture technique allows us to culture mouse and rat embryos ex vivo condition during limited periods corresponding to midgestation stages. In this video protocol, we demonstrate our standard procedures of rat whole embryo culture after E12.5 using the rotator-type bottle culture system.
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.
This article describes a protocol used to study the homing of hematopoietic cells to their niches in the bone marrow.
1Department of Biology, University of Iowa, 2Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc.
A combination of different techniques to maximize data collection from mouse tissue is presented.
In this video, we demonstrate how to fabricate and utilize microfabricated post array detectors (mPADs) to assess modulations of cellular contractility.
This video demonstrates New culture, a method by which chick embryos are cultured outside the egg for up to 24 hr. This method enables one to study early development (primitive streak to 14 som.), a period corresponding to E7-9 in mouse. Applications of this technique include electroporation, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
Rat Mesentery Exteriorization: A Model for Investigating the Cellular Dynamics Involved in Angiogenesis
This article describes a simple model for stimulating angiogenesis in the rat mesentery. The model produces dramatic increases in capillary sprouting, vascular area and vascular density over a relatively short time course in a tissue that allows en face visualization of entire microvascular networks down to the single cell level.
Here we describe a quick and simple method to measure cell stiffness. The general principle of this approach is to measure membrane deformation in response to well-defined negative pressure applied through a micropipette to the cell surface. This method provides a powerful tool to study biomechanical properties of substrate-attached cells.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, 2Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University
This article describes surface labeling and ex ovo tissue culture in the early chick embryo. Techniques amenable to time-lapse bright field, fluorescence, and optical coherence tomography imaging are presented. Tracking surface labels with high spatiotemporal resolution enables kinematic quantities such as morphogenetic strains (deformations) to be calculated in both two and three dimensions.
In this video, we show a procedure for an accurate biolistic delivery of reagents into live tissue with a novel miniature gene gun. We are knocking down the expression of the axon guidance molecule Netrin in leech embryos by delivering molecules of dsRNA into the ventral body wall and ganglia of single segments.
Partially isolated cortex (“undercut”) is an efficient animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis. Here we demonstrate how to make a novel surgical device and use it to make more precise and consistent lesions to generate this model.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
Slice cultures facilitate the manipulation of embryo development by gene and pharmacological perturbations. However, culture conditions must ensure that normal development can proceed within the reduced environment of the slice. We illustrate a protocol that facilitates normal spinal cord development to proceed for at least 24 hr.
This protocol delineates a way to label and trace the fate of small groups of cells zebrafish embryos using UV-uncaging of caged fluorescein, followed by whole mount immunolabeling to amplify the signal from the uncaged fluorescein.
We describe a super-resolution imaging method to probe the structural organization of the bacterial FtsZ-ring, an essential apparatus for cell division. This method is based on quantitative analyses of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) images and can be applied to other bacterial cytoskeletal proteins.
This article demonstrates the dissection and incubation of rabbit retina and particle-mediated gene transfer of plasmids encoding GFP or a variety of subcellular markers into retinal ganglion cells.
Here we present a histological method for capturing, labeling, optically clearing, and imaging the intact brain tissue interface around chronically implanted microdevices in rodent brain tissue. Results from the techniques comprising this method are useful for understanding the impact of various penetrating brain-implants on their surrounding tissue.
1Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of New Jersey, 2Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, 3Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howards Hughes Medical Institute, 4Deptartment of Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
We describe methods for large-scale recording of multiple single units and local field potential in behaving rodents with silicon probes. Drive fabrication, probe attachment to the drive and probe implantation processes are illustrated in sufficient details for easy replication.
In this paper we present a method for transplanting human stem cells into various regions of the central nervous system of the chicken embryo. This provides an in vivo model for assessing the proliferation and differentiation of various types of human stem cells in embryonic tissue environments.
1Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory, University School of Medicine, 3Emory University School of Medicine
This protocol provides the necessary information for setting up, caring for, recording from and electrically stimulating cultures on MEAs. In vitro networks provide a means for asking physiologically relevant questions at the network and cellular levels leading to a better understanding of brain function and dysfunction.
Parallel-plate Flow Chamber and Continuous Flow Circuit to Evaluate Endothelial Progenitor Cells under Laminar Flow Shear Stress
1Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 3School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 4Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Duke University Medical Center
We are describing a method to subject adherent cells to laminar flow shear stress in a sterile continuous flow circuit. The cells' adhesion, morphology can be studied through the transparent chamber, samples obtained from the circuit for metabolite analysis and cells harvested after shear exposure for future experiments or culture.