Classical fear conditioning paradigm was adapted for human participants in a fully immersive virtual reality setting. Using a discrimination paradigm, conditioned fear, cue and context memory retention, and extinction was measured with skin conductance response to dynamic virtual snakes and spiders (the conditioned stimuli) in two distinct virtual contexts.
A methodology to investigate the neural mechanisms that support aware and unaware memory processes during fear conditioning is described. This method monitors blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging, skin conductance response, and unconditioned stimulus expectancy during Pavlovian fear conditioning to assess the neural correlates of distinct memory processes.
Cognitive impairment resulting from the radiotherapeutic management of brain tumors represents a clinically intractable condition that adversely impacts quality of life. The capability to critically evaluate potential interventions for ameliorating radiation-induced cognitive decrements ultimately depends on the capability to undertake rigorous quantitative assessments of cognition.
1Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and Friedman Brain Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 2Department of Psychology, New York University, 3Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University
Conditioned fear can be diminished through an inhibitory process called extinction, but can resurface under conditions such as the passage of time or exposure to stress. Our protocol presents a novel way of preventing fear recovery by introducing extinction during the reconsolidation window (the re-storage phase of a reactivated memory).
Behavioral Determination of Stimulus Pair Discrimination of Auditory Acoustic and Electrical Stimuli Using a Classical Conditioning and Heart-rate Approach
The application of a classical fear conditioning behavioral paradigm for auditory prosthetic research in rats is described. This paradigm provides a mechanism for identifying both detection of, and discrimination between, distinct acoustic and electrical stimuli using heart-rate as an outcome measure.
1Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California Berkeley, 2Office of Laboratory Animal Care, University of California Berkeley, 3McGovern Institute for Brain Research & The Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4Integrative Biology Department, University of California Berkeley
Targeted ablation of specific brain region(s) by infusion of an excitotoxin using stereotaxic coordinates is described. This technique could also be adapted for infusion of other chemicals into the rat brain.
Responding for food or drug-paired cues increases over the course of a period of abstinence and this may relate to an increased susceptibility to relapse behaviors. Here we detail a procedure for evaluating this "incubation of craving" in rats that have self-administered sucrose.
1Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Unit, Frontier Technology Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 2Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science Division of Systems Medicine, Fujita Health University
The elevated plus maze test is one of the most widely used tests for measuring anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie showing the detailed procedures for conducting the test.
1College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas at Austin, 2The Waggoner Center of Addiction and Alcohol Research, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 4Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 5Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Drug self-administration and ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) are used as behavioral assessments in animal research, but rarely in combination. The purpose of this article is to describe the advantages of recording USVs during drug self-administration procedures to assess affective responses to drug experience.
Here are some highlights from the October 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
1Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2Neuroscience Graduate Group, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
A multi-faceted approach to investigating functional changes to hippocampal circuitry is explained. Electrophysiological techniques are described along with the injury protocol, behavioral testing and regional dissection method. The combination of these techniques can be applied in similar fashion for other brain regions and scientific questions.
1Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 2Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, 3Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 4Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 5California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 6Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles
The Lashley III maze is a route-learning task that does not rely on aversive stimuli or visual cues. It is thus a highly attractive option for evaluating learning and memory, especially in aging mice or otherwise where stress is a consideration.
Diffuse noxious inhibitory control, temporal summation and wound hyperalgesia testing are demonstrated in the obstetric patient. These tests evaluate inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms of pain processing and are here utilized to evaluate endogenous analgesia at different time-points during pregnancy and the peripartum period to help reveal individual s risk for persistent pain.
The light/dark transition test is one of the most widely used tests to measure anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie that shows detailed procedures on how we conduct the test.
Design and Assembly of an Ultra-light Motorized Microdrive for Chronic Neural Recordings in Small Animals
The design, fabrication and assembly of an ultra-light motorized microdrive is described. The device provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for chronic recordings of single units in small behaving animals.
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.
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.
The identification of brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs), the rare cells within a heterogeneous tumor possessing stem cell properties, provides new insights into human brain tumor pathogenesis. We have refined specific culture conditions to enrich for BTICs, and we routinely use flow cytometry to further enrich these populations. Self-renewal assays and transcript analysis by single cell RT-PCR can subsequently be performed on these isolated cells.
Selective Viral Transduction of Adult-born Olfactory Neurons for Chronic in vivo Optogenetic Stimulation
Adult-born neurons of the olfactory bulb can be optogenetically controlled using Channelrhodopsin2-expressing lentiviral injection in the rostral migratory stream and chronic photostimulation with an implanted miniature LED.
Operant drug self-administration and conditioned place preference (CPP) procedures are expansively used in research to model various components of drug reinforcement, consumption, and addiction in humans. In this report, we combined traditional CPP and self-administration methods as a novel approach to studying drug reinforcement and addiction in rats.
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.
Combining Behavioral Endocrinology and Experimental Economics: Testosterone and Social Decision Making
The procedure described in this protocol shows that testosterone administration and folk beliefs about testosterone may be associated with directly opposed social behaviors.
A fast and inexpensive method for the behavioral determination of hearing parameters like hearing thresholds, hearing impairments or phantom perceptions (subjective tinnitus) is described. It uses pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and can be easily implemented in a personal computer using a programmable AD/DA-converter and a piezo sensor.
Habituation and prepulse inhibition of startle are operational measures of sensory gating. Sensory gating is disrupted in schizophrenia, and some other mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. We here describe a standard protocol to assess short-term and long-term habituation as well as prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle responses in rats and mice.
We describe two tactile sensory testing methods for acute or chronic periods of spinal cord injury in rats. These validated procedures can detect the development and maintenance of allodynia-like sensations.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, and Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Rescue of influenza A viruses from plasmid DNA is a basic and essential experimental technique that allows influenza researchers to generate recombinant viruses to study multiple aspects in the biology of influenza virus, and to be used as potential vectors or vaccines.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
1Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 3Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
The development of optogenetics now provides the means to precisely stimulate genetically defined neurons and circuits, both in vitro and in vivo. Here we describe the assembly and implantation of a fiber optic for chronic photostimulation of brain tissue.
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Cornell University, 2Neurosurgical Laboratory for Translational Stem Cell Research, Weill Cornell Brain Tumor Center, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, 3Cell Morphology Department, Instituto de Investigacion Principe Felipe, 4Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University
We demonstrate that the over expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) enhances the motility of neural stem cells(NSCs) using a novel agarose gel based microfluidic device. This technology can be readily adaptable to other mammalian cell systems where cell sources are scarce, such as human neural stem cells, and the turn around time is critical.
In this video, we demonstrate the isolation of mouse blastocysts and the derivation of trophoblast stem cells from blastocysts. We also describe conditions for maintenance of the stem cell property as well as induction of differentiation in culture.
The IP-FCM method is presented, which allows a sensitive, robust, biochemical assessment of native protein-protein interactions, without requiring genetic engineering or large sample sizes.
The protocols describe the essential steps for obtaining diffraction quality crystals of a membrane protein starting from reconstitution of the protein in a lipidic cubic phase (LCP), finding initial conditions with LCP-FRAP pre-crystallization assays, setting up LCP crystallization trials and harvesting crystals.
Spatio-Temporal Manipulation of Small GTPase Activity at Subcellular Level and on Timescale of Seconds in Living Cells
A method for spatio-temporal control of small GTPase activity by light is described. This method is based on rapamycin-induced FKBP-FRB heterodimerization and photo-caging systems. Optimization of light-irradiation enables the spatio-temporally controlled activation of small GTPases at the subcellular level.
Measuring the yaw torque of tethered Drosophila with the torque meter allows the neuroscientist exquisite control of the stimulus situation of the experimental animal. Together with the unique genetic tools available in the fruit fly, this paradigm is used for a wide variety of neurobiological research.
Preparation of Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast Cells Suitable for Culturing Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The quality of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) is dictated by the right strain of mouse such as CF-1. Pluripotency-supportive MEFs and conditioned media (CM) obtained from these should contain optimal concentrations of Activin A, Gremlin and Tgfβ1 needed for the Activin/Nodal and FGF pathways to co-operatively maintain self-renewal and pluripotency.
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.
This protocol describes the production of KLRG1 tetramer, which is a powerful tool for the analysis of KLRG1 ligands.
1Laboratory for NeuroRegeneration and Repair, Department of Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, 2Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, University of Tuebingen
We present a method for chromatin immunoprecipitation from dorsal root ganglia tissue following axonal injury. The approach can be used to identify specific transcription factor binding sites and epigenetic modification of histone and DNA important for the regeneration of injured axons in both the peripheral and central nervous system.
Neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging have become increasingly useful in characterizing the cognitive and neural deficits in autism. An examination of brain connectivity in autism at a network level along with adaptations for scanning children with developmental disabilities is presented.
This article will focus on the generation of human hepatic endoderm from human embryonic stem cell populations.
1Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, 3Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center
Lateral fluid percussion (LFP), an established model of traumatic brain injury in mice, is demonstrated. LFP fulfills three major criteria for animal models: validity, reliability and clinical relevance. The procedure, consisting of surgical craniotomy, fixation of hub followed by induction of injury, resulting in focal and diffuse injuries, is described.
1Department of Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, 2Department of Gene and Protein Biomarkers, GenProMarkers, Inc.
We describe a rat model of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that reveals the persistent alterations in neuroendocrine function and the delayed long-term, exaggerated fear response, characteristic of PTSD patients. The animal model and methods described here are useful for correlating biomarkers in brain nuclei, which are mechanistic but cannot be measured in patients, with biomarkers in peripheral white blood cells, which can.
When compared to the previous paper protocol, implementation of a computerized glucose management system results in a substantial increase in blood glucose concentration measurements within the target range. Using a computerized glucose management system to monitor blood glucose levels, decreases in severe hypoglycemia (<40 mg/dL), clinical hypoglycemia (<70 mg/dL), and hyperglycemia (>180 mg/dL) also can be observed.
This video shows a procedure for generating neuronal cultures from late embryo and early postnatal mouse cortex. These cultures can be used for immunocytochemistry, biochemistry, electrophysiology, calcium and sodium imaging and provide a platform to study the neuronal development of transgenic animals that carry a postnatal lethal gene mutation.
We illustrate the use of a constant force axial optical tweezers to explore the mechanical properties of short DNA molecules. By stretching DNA axially, we minimize steric hindrances and artifacts arising in conventional lateral manipulation, allowing us to study DNA molecules as short as ~100 nm.
We demonstrate the assembly and application of a molecular-scale device powered by a topoisomerase protein. The construct is a bio-molecular sensor which labels two major types of DNA breaks in tissue sections by attaching two different fluorophores to their ends.
Neutrophils are among the first cells to arrive on the site of inflammatory immune response, and their functions and mechanisms have been studied extensively in vitro. We demonstrate a standard density gradient separation method to isolate human neutrophils from whole blood using commercially available separation media.
Bees can be conditioned in an appetitive olfactory learning paradigm (PER-conditioning). Using odors as stimuli, we established a method in which behavior is recorded while simultaneously Calcium Imaging is used to measure odor evoked activity in mushroom body neurons in vivo.
This protocol describes the development of a microfluidic device for investigating bacterial chemotaxis in stable concentration gradients of chemoeffectors.
Differential Imaging of Biological Structures with Doubly-resonant Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)
A combination of three single wavelength short-pulsed lasers is used to generate coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and doubly-resonant CARS (DR-CARS). The difference between these signals provides enhanced sensitivity for otherwise difficult to detect coherent Raman signals, enabling imaging of weak Raman scatterers.