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.
A Simplified Technique for In situ Excision of Cornea and Evisceration of Retinal Tissue from Human Ocular Globe
The paper describes a simplified technique to excise corneal and to eviscerate retinal tissues from the ocular globe of human cadaveric donors. The technique described here will help to excise good quality tissues to be used for transplantation, surgical or research purposes without damaging other tissues of the ocular globe.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Back in 1905, in what is now the Czech Republic, Eduard Zirm performed the first corneal transplantation surgery (keratoplasty), which restored vision to a patient blinded by corneal injury. Today, eye banks all over the world prepare, store, and distribute donated corneas to hospitals so that thousands of sight-saving keratoplasties can be performed every year. In June 2012, JoVE has its eye on two research groups, one from Italy and the other from Michigan, who demonstrate two distinct methods for corneal graft preparation prior to transplantation.
The endothelial glycocalyx/endothelial surface layer is ideally studied using intravital microscopy. Intravital microscopy is technically challenging in a moving organ such as the lung. We demonstrate how simultaneous brightfield and fluorescent microscopy may be used to estimate endothelial surface layer thickness in a freely-moving in vivo mouse lung.
Real-time Imaging of Heterotypic Platelet-neutrophil Interactions on the Activated Endothelium During Vascular Inflammation and Thrombus Formation in Live Mice
Here we report an experimental technique of fluorescence intravital microscopy to visualize heterotypic platelet-neutrophil interactions on the activated endothelium during vascular inflammation and thrombus formation in live mice. This microscopic technology will be valuable to study the molecular mechanism of vascular disease and to test pharmacologic agents under pathophysiological conditions.
We are presenting an in vivo assay to test blood vessel permeability. This assay is based on intravenous injection of a dye and subsequent visualization of its diffusion into interstitial spaces.
1Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University, 2Institute for Textile Technology and Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 3Institute for Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz-Institute of RWTH Aachen University, 4Department of Experimental Molecular Imaging, RWTH Aachen University, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacila Surgery, RWTH Aachen University
A model of stent implantation in mouse carotid artery is described. Compared to other similar methods, this procedure is very rapid, simple and accessible, offering the possibility to study in a convenient way the vascular wall reaction to different drug-eluting stents and the molecular mechanisms of restenosis.
Microfluidic flow chambers etched by photolithography and fabricated from PDMS are applied to probe functional outcomes associated with EC dysfunction and inflammation. In a representative experiment, the ability of differential shear stress to modulate monocytic cell adhesion to cytokine activated EC monolayers is demonstrated.
The lung is perfused by both the systemic bronchial artery and pulmonary arteries. In most lung pathologies, it is the smaller systemic vasculature that shows robust neovascularization. Cessation of pulmonary blood flow promotes brisk bronchial angiogenesis. We provide surgical details of inducing left pulmonary artery ischemia that promotes bronchial neovascularization.
A general protocol for the study of invasion of host cells by a bacterial pathogen, focusing on Staphylococcus aureus and human endothelial cells.
The cholesterol assay is designed to quantitate the rate of cholesterol efflux from cultured cells and the capacity of plasma acceptors to accept cholesterol released from cells. The assay consists of labelling cells with cholesterol, equilibration of cholesterol among intracellular pools and release of cholesterol to an extracellular acceptor.
The mechanical characteristics of endothelial glycocalyx were measured by indentation using micron sized spheres on AFM cantilevers. Endothelial cells were cultured in a custom chamber under physiological flow conditions to induce glycocalyx expression. Data were analyzed using a thin film model to determine the glycocalyx thickness and modulus.
1Department of Physics, Clemson University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, East Carolina University, 3Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, 4Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Clemson University
Graphene offers potential as a coating material for biomedical implants. In this study we demonstrate a method for coating nitinol alloys with nanometer thick layers of graphene and determine how graphene may influence implant response.
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 provide a method for isolating and culturing pure populations of heart valve endothelial cells (VEC). VEC can be isolated from either side of the cusp or leaflet and immediately following, underlying interstitial cell (VIC) isolation is straightforward.
Isolation of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells and Their Use in the Study of Neutrophil Transmigration Under Flow Conditions
This article first describes a procedure for isolating human endothelial cells from umbilical veins and then shows how to use these cells to examine neutrophil transmigration under flow conditions. By using a low-volume flow chamber made from a polymer with the optical characteristics of glass, live-cell fluorescent imaging of rare cell populations is also possible.
1Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering / Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
Creation of micro-tissues using cylindrical collagen gels, called modules, that contain embedded cells and which surface is coated with endothelial cells.
The endogenous production of nitric oxide (NO) regulates a wide variety of biological functions. It is becoming increasingly clear that disruption or dysregulation of NO based signaling is involved in many human diseases. Methods to quantify relevant NO metabolites may provide novel diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for human disease.
Generation of an Immortalized Murine Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cell Line as an In Vitro Blood Brain Barrier Model
This method describes how to isolate and immortalize microvascular endothelial cells from mouse brain. We describe a step-by-step protocol starting from the homogenization of brain tissue, digestion steps, seeding and immortalization of the cells. Usually, it takes about five weeks to obtain a homogenous, immortalized microvascular endothelial cell line.
The surgical procedure for delivery of embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells to the ischemic hindlimb is demonstrated, with non-invasive tracking by bioluminescence imaging.
A noninvasive procedure to assess endothelial function is demonstrated using the Endo-PAT 2000.
Endothelial Cell Co-culture Mediates Maturation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell to Pancreatic Insulin Producing Cells in a Directed Differentiation Approach
The current study describes a directed differentiation approach in inducing pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Of great significance is the finding that endothelial cell co-culture mediates maturation of human embryonic stem cell derived pancreatic progenitors into insulin expressing cells.
Here, we describe a protocol for isolation and culture of murine pulmonary endothelial cells. This method comprises mechanic and enzymatic lung tissue dissociation as well as a 2-step purification process using anti-PECAM-1 and anti-ICAM-2 antibodies conjugated to magnetic beads, which produces a pure endothelial cell population of mostly microvascular origin.
Microscopic imaging of live endothelial cells expressing GFP-actin allows characterization of dynamic changes in cytoskeletal structures. Unlike techniques that use fixed specimens, this method provides a detailed assessment of temporal changes in the actin cytoskeleton in the same cells before, during, and after various physical, pharmacological, or inflammatory stimuli.
Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Endothelial Colony Forming Cells Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood
Endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) are circulating endothelial cells with robust clonal proliferative potential that display intrinsic in vivo vessel forming ability. Phenotypic and functional characterization of outgrowth endothelial cells derived from CB are important to identify and isolate bona fide ECFCs for potential clinical application in repairing damaged tissues.
1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Biostatistics Division, Thomas Jefferson University, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
Capillaroscopy is a non-invasive, relatively inexpensive methodology for directly visualizing the microcirculation. The forearm blood flow technique provides accepted non-invasive measures of endothelial function.
A Real-time Electrical Impedance Based Technique to Measure Invasion of Endothelial Cell Monolayer by Cancer Cells
This article describes an in vitro technique for monitoring cancer cells invading through a monolayer of endothelial cells. The data is acquired in real-time as a function of changes in impedance on the surface of electrodes at the well bottom.
An in vitro model for cerebral malaria sequestration is described1. Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells are selected for binding to immortalized human brain microvascular endothelial cells. The selected parasites show a distinct phenotype. The selection process can be applied using various P. falciparum strains and endothelial cell lines.
1Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, 3Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 4Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
A method to culture an endothelial cell monolayer throughout the entire inner 3D surface of a microfluidic device with microvascular-sized channels (<30 μm) is described. This in vitro microvasculature model enables the study of biophysical interactions between blood cells, endothelial cells, and soluble factors in hematologic diseases.
An efficient method to gain insights into visualizing the paracrine-derived ROS induction of endothelial Ca2+ signaling is described. This method takes advantage of measuring paracrine derived ROS triggered Ca2+ mobilization in vascular endothelial cells in a co-culture model.
1Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, 2Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, University of Massachusetts, 3Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts
A tube formation assay is used to evaluate vascular activity of tumor cells.
Endothelial colony forming progenitor cells (ECFCs) are a promising tool to study vascular homeostasis and repair.1,2 This paper introduces a novel animal-serum free method for isolation and expansion of ECFC from heparinised adult human peripheral blood with pooled human platelet lysate (pHPL) diminishing the risk of anti-bovine immunisation.
Angiogenesis, the sprouting of blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, is associated with both natural and pathological processes. Here we demonstrate an aortic ring assay that allows angiogenic potentiators and inhibitors to be directly added to aortic rings in culture. Sprouting and neovessel outgrowth can be determined by inspecting the aortic rings over a period of 6-12 days.
Detection of Nitric Oxide and Superoxide Radical Anion by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy from Cells using Spin Traps
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was employed to detect nitric oxide from bovine aortic endothelial cells and superoxide radical anion from human neutrophils using iron (II)-N-methyl-D-glucamine dithiocarbamate, Fe(MGD)2 and 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyroroline-N-oxide, DMPO, respectively.
Here, we describe a methodology to deliver human cord blood-derived endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), embedded in a collagen/fibronectin gel, subcutaneously into immunodeficient mice. This cell/gel combination generates a human vascular network that connects with the mouse vasculature.
RNA-seq Analysis of Transcriptomes in Thrombin-treated and Control Human Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cells
This protocol presents a complete and detailed procedure to apply RNA-seq, a powerful next-generation DNA sequencing technology, to profile transcriptomes in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells with or without thrombin treatment. This protocol is generalizable to various cells or tissues affected by different reagents or disease states.
A Model of Disturbed Flow-Induced Atherosclerosis in Mouse Carotid Artery by Partial Ligation and a Simple Method of RNA Isolation from Carotid Endothelium
1Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University, 2Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech and Emory University, 3Department of Bioinspired Science, Ewha Womans University
This describes a partial carotid ligation surgery, which causes disturbed flow conditions and subsequent atherosclerosis development (in two weeks) with intraplaque neo-vascularization (in four weeks) in the mouse common carotid artery. We also describe a novel method of RNA isolation from the carotid intima, providing high purity endothelial RNA.
Visualisation and Quantification of Intracellular Interactions of Neisseria meningitidis and Human α-actinin by Confocal Imaging
Neisseria meningitidis (Nm), a gram negative human-specific respiratory pathogen, can bind to human α-actinin. Here we present a protocol for visualisation of colocalisation of the bacterium with intracellular α-actinin after bacterial entry into human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs).
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.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Plant viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are promising platforms for applications in biomedicine. Here, we describe the procedures for plant VNP propagation, purification, characterization, and bioconjugation. Finally, we show the application of VNPs for tumor homing and imaging using a mouse xenograft model and fluorescence imaging.
We have developed a decellularized lung extracellular matrix and novel biomimetic bioreactor that can be used to generate functional lung tissue. By seeding cells into the matrix and culturing in the bioreactor, we generate tissue that demonstrates effective gas exchange when transplanted in vivo for short periods of time.
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 present a method for the photoactivated switch of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (PCFPs) in the living zebrafish embryo and further tracking of photoconverted protein at specific time points during development. This methodology allows monitoring of cell biological events underlying different developmental processes in a live vertebrate organism.
This video protocol illustrates the isolation and culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) from human umbilical cord. Once isolated these cells can be used for in vitro angiogenesis assays like the Optimized Fibrin Gel Bead Assay also demonstrated by the Hughes lab.
Isolation and Animal Serum Free Expansion of Human Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) and Endothelial Colony Forming Progenitor Cells (ECFCs)
This protocol describes the isolation and subsequent expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells and endothelial colony forming cells without the use of animal serum to generate autologous pairs for experimental transplantation purposes.
By combining a polished and reinforced thin-skull (PoRTS) cranial window and glioblastoma (GBM) cell injection, we can observe glioma initiation and growth from injected GBM cells in the brain of a live mouse longitudinally.
Peptides from Phage Display Library Modulate Gene Expression in Mesenchymal Cells and Potentiate Osteogenesis in Unicortical Bone Defects
A phage display library was used to identify peptide sequences that target bone. The objective was to investigate the effect of these peptides on mesenchymal cell differentiation and to determine their effect on bone regeneration.
The electrolytic induction of endothelial activation to the internal surface of the Inferior Vena Cava results in venous type thrombus formation due to endothelial activation and partial blood stasis, two components of Virchow's triad.
This report provides a visual depiction of parallel-plate flow chamber analysis for studying leukocyte endothelial interactions under physiologic shear stress. This method is particularly useful for investigating the role of endothelial (E)-selectin and leukocyte E-selectin ligands that trigger leukocyte rolling on endothelial cell surfaces.