In this report we demonstrate techniques that can be used to investigate the biology of the crayfish hindgut. We show how to dissect a crayfish abdomen and study the associated anatomy, physiology and modulation of activity. The peristaltic activity and strength of contractions are measured using a force transducer.
Toxoplasma gondii Cyst Wall Formation in Activated Bone Marrow-derived Macrophages and Bradyzoite Conditions
Toxoplasma gondii converts to a cyst form in response to environmental stresses, which can be mimicked in tissue culture models. This video demonstrates techniques to examine cyst wall formation by activating bone marrow-derived macrophages or changing growth medium pH in fibroblast cells.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis forms drug tolerant biofilms when cultured in certain conditions. Here we describe methods for culturing M. tuberculosis biofilms and determining the frequency of drug tolerant persisters. These protocols will be useful for further studies into the mechanisms of drug tolerance in M. tuberculosis.
Monitoring Cleaved Caspase-3 Activity and Apoptosis of Immortalized Oligodendroglial Cells using Live-cell Imaging and Cleaveable Fluorogenic-dye Substrates Following Potassium-induced Membrane Depolarization
Live-cell imaging of caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in immortalized N19-oligodendrocyte cell cultures using the NucView 488 caspase-3 substrate. This technique is applicable for programmed cell death assays in real-time in a variety of cell types and tissues.
Growing some flax varieties under nutrient stress results in genomic variation within a subset of the genome and phenotypic variation. A complex insertion at a specific site is associated with growth under various nutrient regimes and with changes in gene expression around this site.
1Center for Proteomics, Smith College, 2Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 3Department of Chemistry, Smith College, 4Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Proteomics, Smith College
A straight-forward set of methods to isolate and determine the identity of the most abundant proteins expressed in skeletal muscle. About 800 spots are discerned on a two-dimensional gel from 10 mg muscle; this allows for the determination of gender-specific protein expression. These methods will give equivalent results in most tissues.
Demonstration of key methods for high throughput leaf measurements. These methods can be used to accelerate leaf phenotyping when studying many plant mutants or otherwise screening plants by leaf phenotype.
Here are some highlights from the October 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Invertebrates show an autonomic sympathetic-like response similar to that described for vertebrates. The coordination of the cardio-vascular and ventilatory systems allows for measurement of a biological index in which to assess an organism internal state.
The Morris Water Maze is a behavioral task to test hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. It has been widely used in the study of neurobiology, neuropharmacology and neurocognitive disorders in rodent models.
We describe a method for microarray analysis to determine relative aminoacylation levels of all tRNAs from S. cerivisiae.
Optimized Analysis of DNA Methylation and Gene Expression from Small, Anatomically-defined Areas of the Brain
A streamlined workflow to study DNA methylation and gene expression changes upon early-life stress is shown. Starting from maternal separation of newborn mice and isolation of discrete brain tissues, we represent a protocol to simultaneously isolate DNA and RNA from brain tissue punches for subsequent bisulfite sequencing and RT-PCR analysis.
We present a simple method to produce microfluidic devices capable of applying similar dynamic conditions to multiple distinct strains, without the need for a clean room or soft lithography.
This paper describes a protocol for whole body hyperthermia in mice that can stimulate fever like conditions up to 12-24 hr.
Animal models of relapse, known as reinstatement procedures, have been used extensively to study the role of stress in relapse to drug seeking. Here, we report on a method for inducing the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory rats via acute exposures to mild, intermittent electric footshock.
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.
Here, we describe a protocol for the purification of highly active Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ protein from yeast, which couples ATP hydrolysis to protein disaggregation. This scheme exploits a His6-tagged construct for affinity purification from E. coli followed by anion-exchange chromatography, His6-tag removal with TEV protease, and size-exclusion chromatography.
Here we describe a plasmid overexpression screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using an arrayed plasmid library and a high-throughput yeast transformation protocol with a liquid handling robot.
We present methods to evaluate how predation risk can alter the chemical quality of herbivore prey by inducing dietary changes to meet demands of heightened stress, and how the decomposition of carcasses from these stressed herbivores slows subsequent plant litter decomposition by soil microbes.
A simple method is provided that allows for the rapid extraction and analysis of multiple plant hormones from small tissue samples. The procedure uses vapor phase extraction as the solemn purification step. Samples are analyzed by GC/MS with chemical ionization that produces mainly (M+1)+ ions.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
We describe a qualitative assay for yeast adhesion and agar invasion as a measure of invasive and pseudohyphal differentiation. This simple assay can be used to assess the invasive phenotype of various mutants as well as the effects environmental cues and signaling pathways on yeast differentiation.
DT40, a model vertebrate genetic system, provides a powerful tool to analyze protein function. Here we describe a simple method that allows qualitative analysis of parameters that influence DNA synthesis during the S-phase in DT40 cells at the single molecule level.
Determination of gastric emptying with a non-invasive [13C]-octanoic acid breath test for tracking gastroparesis in female NOD LtJ mice.
A procedure for liquid-based culturing and dispensing of C. elegans strains expressing fluorescent reporter proteins is described that does not require expensive sorting equipment. This approach can be applied to numerous inducible C. elegans genes for drug discovery or biosensing of contaminants.
Determination of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reactive Oxygen Species in Live Rat Cortical Neurons
We demonstrate application of the fluorescence indicator, TMRM, in cortical neurons to determine the relative changes in TMRM fluorescence intensity before and after application of a specific stimulus. We also show application of the fluorescence probe H2DCF-DA to assess the relative level of reactive oxygen species in cortical neurons.
In this protocol we present a method to measure Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan in 96 well microtiter plates.
In this protocol, gene expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is changed after exposure to oxidative stress induced by the addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an oxidizing agent.
Here we present a protocol for performing solid plate-based dietary restriction in C. elegans with killed bacteria.
Cellular viability depends on timely and efficient management of protein misfolding. Here we describe a method for visualizing the different potential fates of a misfolded protein: refolding, degradation, or sequestration in inclusions. We demonstrate the use of a folding sensor, Ubc9ts, for monitoring proteostasis and aggregation quality control in live cells using 4D microscopy.
Metabolic memory is the phenomenon by which diabetic complications persist and progress unimpeded even after euglycemia is achieved pharmaceutically. Here we describe a diabetes mellitus zebrafish model which is unique in that it allows for the examination of the mitotically transmissible epigenetic components of metabolic memory in vivo.
Implantation of Radiotelemetry Transmitters Yielding Data on ECG, Heart Rate, Core Body Temperature and Activity in Free-moving Laboratory Mice
A surgical technique for implantation of commercially available telemetry transmitters used for continuous measurement of biopotential (one-lead ECG), heart rate, core body temperature and locomotor activity in freely moving mice is shown. Recommendations and protocols for post-operative care and pain relief, improving recovery, well being and survival rate are also presented.
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2Tulane University School of Medicine, 3The Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, 4Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine
The tail-suspension test is validated as an experimental procedure to assess antidepressant efficacy of drug treatments in mice. Mice are suspended by their tails for six minutes and escape-related behaviors are assessed. We describe procedures used in conducting the tail suspension test.
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.
Xenopus egg extract is a useful model system to investigate the DNA damage checkpoint. This protocol is for the preparation of Xenopus egg extracts and DNA damage checkpoint inducing reagents. These techniques are adaptable to a variety of DNA damaging approaches in the study of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling.
In this protocol we describe a method of operant learning using sensory stimuli as a reinforcer in the mouse. It requires no prior training or food restriction, and it allows the study of motivated behavior without the use of a pharmacological or natural reinforcer such as food.
A method for isolating specific cell types from plant material is demonstrated. This technique employs transgenic marker lines expressing fluorescent proteins in particular cell types, cellular dissociation and Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting. Additionally, a growth setup is established here that facilitates treatment of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings prior to cell sorting.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
1Biology Department, Western Washington University, 2Washington State University Northwestern Research and Extension Center, 3Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University
Plastic films labeled "biodegradable" are commercially available for agricultural use as mulches. Tillage represents an attractive disposal method, but degradation under field conditions is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to develop methods for isolating native soil fungi and bacteria that colonize plastic mulch films after field burial.
To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.
A method for the assembly of adhesive and soluble gradients in a microscopy chamber for live cell migration studies is described. The engineered environment combines antifouling surfaces and adhesive tracks with solution gradients and therefore allows one to determine the relative importance of guidance cues.
The in situ hybridization protocol described here allows a direct localization of mRNA and small RNA expression at the cellular level with high sensitivity and specificity. The procedure is optimized for paraffin-embedded plant tissue sections, is applicable to a wide range of plants and tissues, and can be completed within ten days.
1Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, 2Department of Synapses - Circuits - Plasticity, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, 3Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich
Targeted-esterase induced dye loading (TED) supports the analysis of intracellular calcium store dynamics by fluorescence imaging. The method bases on targeting of a recombinant Carboxylesterase to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it improves the local unmasking of synthetic low-affinity Ca2+ indicator dyes in the ER lumen.
This article describes the procedure for the formation and visualization of a bacterial biofilm grown within an 8-well chamber slide
Establishment of Microbial Eukaryotic Enrichment Cultures from a Chemically Stratified Antarctic Lake and Assessment of Carbon Fixation Potential
Microbial eukaryotes are both a source of photosynthetically-derived carbon and top predatory species in permanently ice-covered Antarctic lakes. This report describes an enrichment culture approach to isolate metabolically versatile microbial eukaryotes from the Antarctic lake, Lake Bonney, and assesses inorganic carbon fixation potential using a radioisotope assay for Ribulose-1,5-bisphophate carboxylase oxygenase (RubisCO) activity.
We provide a simple, semi-quantitative method to investigate biofilm formation in vitro. This method takes advantage of the Zeiss stemi 2000-C Dissecting Microscope (with camera attachment) to monitor both the timing and pattern of biofilm formation, as assessed by the development of wrinkled colonies.
Collection, Isolation and Enrichment of Naturally Occurring Magnetotactic Bacteria from the Environment
We demonstrate a method to collect magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) that can be applied to natural waters. MTB can be isolated and enriched from sediment samples using a relatively simple setup that takes advantage of the bacteria's natural magnetism. Isolated MTB can then be examined in detail using both light and electron microscopy.
We present a method for generating cDNA from environmental mRNA. In general, total RNA is first collected from the environment, rRNA is selectively removed, mRNA is selectively amplified, and cDNA synthesized from the enriched mRNA pool is sequenced. Recovered sequences can be annotated using standard bioinformatics techniques to identify the expressed genes.
Reduction in Left Ventricular Wall Stress and Improvement in Function in Failing Hearts using Algisyl-LVR
This article describes procedures for implanting a novel hydrogel in failing hearts and quantifying its effect on left ventricular wall stress and function. These procedures have been successfully applied in dogs and humans.
This article describes a protocol for inducing psychological stress in participants, which enables researchers to measure psychological, physiological and neuroendocrine responses to stress within single participants or between groups.