The zebrafish kidney is home to both renal and hematopoietic adult stem/progenitor cells, and represents an outstanding opportunity to study these cell types and their progeny in a vertebrate model organism. Here, we demonstrate a detailed dissection procedure that enables the researcher to identify and surgically remove the adult zebrafish kidney, which can be used for applications such as cell isolation, transplantation, and expression studies of kidney and/or blood cell populations.
In insects, the oenocytes produce cuticular hydrocarbon compounds. These compounds protect against desiccation and facilitate chemical communication. Here we demonstrate a dissection technique used to isolate the oenocytes from adult Drosophila melanogaster, and illustrate how this preparation can be utilized to study genes involved in hydrocarbon synthesis.
This protocol describes three Drosophila preparations: 1) adult brain dissection, 2) adult retina dissection and 3) developing eye disc- brain complexes dissection. Emphasis is laid on special preparation techniques and conditions for live imaging, although all preparations can be used for fixed tissue immunohistochemistry.
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.
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.
This protocol discusses the live dissection of Drosophila larvae for the purpose of imaging the movement of GFP tagged axonal vesicles on microtubule tracks.
This technique exposes the Drosophila embryonic neuromusculature for immunohistochemistry or electrophysiological recording. It is useful for studying early events in neuromuscular development or performing electrophysiology in mutants that cannot hatch.
Live Dissection of Drosophila Embryos: Streamlined Methods for Screening Mutant Collections by Antibody Staining
We describe a streamlined protocol for generating "fillet" preparations of Drosophila embryos of specific genotypes. This protocol allows efficient execution of a variety of genetic screens. It also allows excellent visualization of structures in the late embryo.
Here we describe electrophysiological methods for measuring synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larva. Evoked release is initiated artificially by stimulating the motor neuron axons, and transmission through the NMJ can be measured by the postsynaptic response evoked in the muscle.
This is a protocol describing how to isolate and culture primary sympathetic neurons from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of newborn rat pups.
This article describes an approach to microdissect zebrafish retinas with and without retinal pigment epithelium attached, from one to three days postfertilization embryos.
The limiting factor in the use of the adult Drosophila eye to study neurodegeneration and cell biology is the difficult imaging of intracellular processes. We describe the dissection of single ommatidia to generate a bona-fide primary neuronal cell culture, which can be subject to drug treatment and advanced imaging.
Drosophila melanogaster larvae provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms of axonal transport within larval segmental nerves. Using this procedure, 3rd instar larvae carrying various mutations can be compared to wild type larvae.
The fate of an individual embryonic cell can be influenced by inherited molecules and/or by signals from neighboring cells. Utilizing fate maps of the cleavage stage Xenopus embryo, single blastomeres can be identified for culture in isolation to assess the contributions of inherited molecules versus cell-cell interactions.
Aplysia californica neurons develop large growth cones in culture that are excellent for high-resolution imaging of growth cone motility and guidance. Here, we present a protocol for dissection and plating of Aplysia bag cell neurons as well as for setting up a chamber for live cell imaging.
An in vivo dissection of the adult Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC) is demonstrated. This particular dissection method causes little damage to the VNC allowing the subsequent labeling of the giant fiber neurons with fluorescent dye for high resolution imaging.
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.
Here we describe a microdissection technique followed by fluorescent dye injection into the acoustic ganglion of early chick embryos for selective tracing of auditory axon fibers in the nerve and hindbrain.
This video demonstrates a dissection procedure for processing human pancreas into multiple storage formats. Anatomical orientation is maintained throughout the pancreatic regions to allow definition of regional islet composition and density.
A protocol for separation of embryo facial ectoderm and mesenchyme is described. We use Dispase II to treat whole embryos first, dissect whole facial prominences out, and then separate the facial ectoderm and mesenchyme.
The stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the Jonah crab (C. borealis) can be used for electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and cell culture studies. The STNS extraction is done in two parts: the gross and fine dissection.
Endothelial corneal transplantation is a surgical technique for treatment of posterior corneal diseases. Mechanical microkeratome dissection to prepare tissue results in thinner, more symmetric grafts with less endothelial cell loss and improved outcomes. Dissections can be performed at the eye bank prior to corneal transplantation surgery.
Micro-dissection of rat brain into various regions is extremely important for the study of different neurodegenerative diseases. This video demonstrates micro-dissection of four major brain regions include olfactory bulb, frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus in fresh rat brain tissue. Useful tips for quick removal of respective regions to avoid RNA and protein degradation of the tissue are given.
Isolation of postimplantation-stage embryos allows one to study gene patterning and analyze cell-lineage decision making processes during embryonic development, but proper dissection of the early embryo can be challenging. This protocol describes a method for isolating early primitive-streak-stage embryos (~6.5 days post coitum [dpc]).
1Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University, 2Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, 3Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, 4Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Here we present a method to isolate and culture cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells and cerebellar granule neurons from postnatal mouse.
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.
Antibody staining of the Drosophila pupae can enhance genetic analyses of adult abdominal developmental genetics. We present our protocol for dissection, fixation and antibody staining of staged Drosophila pupal abdomen.
1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, 2Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 3School of Dentistry, UCLA, 4Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
The dissection technique illustrates enucleation of the mouse eye for tissue fixation to perform phenotyping in high-throughput screens.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
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.
Application of electrophysiology to accessible synapses provides a quantifiable measure of synaptic activity, useful in analyzing synaptic mutants. This article describes a dissection method used to expose the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and briefly discusses some of the uses to which this preparation can be applied.
A protocols for an embryonic rat brain aggregate culture system is described. Multipotent progenitors in the aggregates can develop and differentiate into neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
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 neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of Drosophila melanogaster is an important model system for studying normal synaptic function as well as perturbations to synaptic function found in certain neurological diseases. We present a protocol for dissection of the Drosophila larval motor system and immunostaining for active zone proteins within the NMJ.
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 describe a rapid methodology to isolate and culture hippocampal and cortical neurons from rodent embryos. This protocol allows us to perform experiments in which nearly pure neuronal cultures are required.
Isolation of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Rodent Embryos for use with Dissected Cerebral Cortical Explants
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
The ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the neuroepithelial and cerebral cortical progenitor cells during early brain development in the embryo. Here we describe the method developed to isolate ventricular CSF from rodent embryos of different ages in order to investigate its biological function. In addition, we demonstrate our cerebral cortical explant dissection and culture technique that allows for explant growth with minimal volumes of culture medium or CSF.
A clear, standardized method for dissection and isolation of the zebrafish heart at multiple developmental stages are described. Annotation and quantification techniques are also discussed.
1Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
The mosquito midgut and salivary glands are key entry and exit points for vector pathogens like Plasmodium falciparum and the dengue virus. This video demonstrates the dissection techniques for removing the midgut and salivary glands from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
1Molecular Biology of Neural Development, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal, 2Division of Experimental Medicine and Program in Neuroengineering, McGill University, 3Program in Neuroengineering, McGill University, 4Montreal Neurological Institute, 5Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, 6Department of Biology, McGill University, 7Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal - University of Montreal
This video demonstrates a method to dissect and culture commissural neurons from E13 rat dorsal spinal cord. Dissociated commissural neurons are useful to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of axon growth and guidance.
To cultivate neural crest stem cells (NCSC) in vitro, a special medium (NCSCM) is required. Essential part of NCSCM is chick embryo extract (CEE). We here describe accurate techniques to produce a maximized amount of pure and high quality CEE, including details as the isolation, maceration, centrifugation, and filtration processes.
1Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, 2Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 3Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, 4Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard
This procedure describes a method for the isolation and culture of the murine organ of Corti with or without the spiral limbus and spiral ganglion neurons. We also demonstrate a method for the expression of an exogenous reporter gene in the organ of Corti explant by electroporation.
Culturing neural explants from dissected Xenopus laevis embryos that express fluorescent fusion proteins allows for imaging of growth cone cytoskeletal dynamics.
A method to load subventricular zone (SVZ) cells with calcium indicator dyes for recording calcium activity is described. The postnatal SVZ contains tightly packed cells including neural progenitor cells and neuroblasts. Rather than using bath loading we injected the dye by pressure inside the tissue allowing better dye diffusion.
This video protocol demonstrates the application of the neurosphere assay for the isolation and expansion of neural stem cells from the ganglionic eminences of embryonic day 14-mouse brain.
1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, 2Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, 3Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, 4Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 5Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine & Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco
To assess the in vivo effects of therapeutic interventions for muscle disease, methods are needed to quantitate force generation and fatigability in treated muscle. We detail an approach to evaluating myo-mechanical properties in explanted mouse hindlimb muscle. This analysis provides a robust approach to quantitating the effects of genetic modification on muscle function, as well as comparison of therapies in mouse models of muscle disease.
In this video, we describe a method for live cell imaging of asymmetrically dividing sensory organ progenitor cells and epidermal cells in intact Drosophila pupae
1Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Johns Hopkins University, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3University of Maryland, 4Experimental Neurology, Biogen Idec, 5The Brain Science Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 6Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
This protocol outlines the derivation of Glial Restricted Precursors from fetal spinal cords and maintained in vitro either for transplantation or for the study of oligodendrocytic lineage.
Dopamine is distinctly regulated in the midbrain nuclei, which contain the cell bodies and dendrites of the dopamine neurons. Here we describe a dissection and sample-handling approach to maximize results, and thus conclusions and insights, on dopamine regulation in the midbrain nuclei of the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in rodents.
This video protocol demonstrates the neurosphere assay method to generate and expand neural stem cells from the adult mouse periventricular region, and provides technical insights to ensure one can achieve reproducible neurosphere cultures.