Lyme disease research studies often require generation of ticks infected with the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi, a process that typically takes several weeks. Here we demonstrate a microinjection-based tick infection procedure that can be accomplished within hours. We also demonstrate an immunofluorescence method for in situ localization of B. burgdorferi within ticks.
Testing Protozoacidal Activity of Ligand-lytic Peptides Against Termite Gut Protozoa in vitro (Protozoa Culture) and in vivo (Microinjection into Termite Hindgut)
We present procedures for demonstrating that ligands bind to the surface membrane of the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites using fluorescent microscopy and that ligands coupled with lytic peptides kill these protozoa in vitro (anaerobic protozoa culture) and in vivo (injection into the termite hindgut).
Extracting DNA from the Gut Microbes of the Termite (Zootermopsis Angusticollis) and Visualizing Gut Microbes
This video illustrates the technique for extracting DNA from the species of microbes resident in the termite hindgut. The preparation of a wet mount slide, which is useful for visualizing the gut microbial community is also illustrated, and a tour through the species-rich gut environment is given.
Competitive homing experiments allow to directly assessing the migratory properties of two different cell populations in a single mouse. Here we illustrate this procedure by comparing the migration of ex vivo-generated gut-tropic versus non-gut tropic T cells.
Once a gene is identified as potentially refractory for malaria, it must be evaluated for its role in preventing Plasmodium infections within the mosquito. This protocol illustrates how the extent of plasmodium infections of mosquitoes can be assayed. The techniques for preparing the gametocyte culture, membrane feeding mosquitoes human blood, and assaying viral titers in the mosquito midgut are demonstrated.
A ribosomal RNA (rRNA) depletion protocol was developed to enrich messenger RNA (mRNA) for RNA-seq of the mosquito gut metatranscriptome. Sample specific rRNA probes, which were used to remove rRNA via subtraction, were created from the mosquito and its gut microbes. Performance of the protocol can result in the removal of approximately 90-99% of rRNA.
The Colon Ascendens Stent Peritonitis (CASP) is a highly standardized model for polymicrobial abdominal sepsis in rodents. This article describes the surgical procedure of CASP. The CASP model and its variants allow the systematic investigation of various problems concerning the subject of sepsis.
Drosophila melanogaster testes can be rapidly and efficiently isolated from adult males using dissecting needles. With practice, one can readily isolate in one or two days an amount of testes sufficient for the analysis of DNA or RNA by high throughput sequencing or more traditional molecular biology methods or of protein for antibody- or enzyme-based assays.
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.
Functional Assessment of Intestinal Motility and Gut Wall Inflammation in Rodents: Analyses in a Standardized Model of Intestinal Manipulation
Postoperative ileus (POI) is a complication of abdominal surgery leading to increased morbidity and a prolonged hospital stay. Because prophylactic or therapeutic strategies are lacking intensified research is necessary. Therefore we established a standardized and feasible mouse model to investigate the pathophysiology of POI and to study potential therapeutic options.
Assessing Hepatic Metabolic Changes During Progressive Colonization of Germ-free Mouse by 1H NMR Spectroscopy
A progressive colonization procedure is described to further assess its impact on the host hepatic metabolism. Colonization is monitored non invasively by evaluating the urinary excretion of microbial co-metabolites by NMR-based metabolic profiling while hepatic metabolism is assessed by High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HR MAS) NMR profiling of intact biopsy.
Jared Leadbetter takes us for a nature walk through the diversity of life resident in the termite hindgut - a microenvironment containing 250 different species found nowhere else on Earth. Jared reveals that the symbiosis exhibited by this system is multi-layered and involves not only a relationship between the termite and its gut inhabitants, but also involves a complex web of symbiosis among the gut microbes themselves.
Jared Leadbetter explains why the termite-gut microbial community is an excellent system for studying the complex interactions between microbes. The symbiotic relationship existing between the host insect and lignocellulose-degrading gut microbes is explained, as well as the industrial uses of these microbes for degrading plant biomass and generating biofuels.
Optical Recording of Electrical Activity in Guinea-pig Enteric Networks using Voltage-sensitive Dyes
This protocol illustrates how voltage-sensitive dyes enable optical recording of electrical activity from intact neural networks such as the plexuses of the guinea-pig enteric nervous system, with an adjustable resolution that ranges from single-cells to multi-ganglionic circuitry.
A rapid and affordable way to extract quality malaria parasite and vector DNA from mosquito specimens is described. Capitalizing on chelating properties of Chelex resin, the simple method enables genotyping of malaria parasites in mosquito mid-gut and salivary gland phases, as well as molecular identification of the Anopheles sibling species by PCR.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
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.
We present a novel method for microgavage of larval zebrafish utilizing standard embryo microinjection and stereomicroscopy equipment. We demonstrate that microgavage is a safe and efficient technique useful for delivering controlled amounts of diverse materials specifically into the larval zebrafish intestinal lumen.
An Optimized Procedure for Fluorescence-activated Cell Sorting (FACS) Isolation of Autonomic Neural Progenitors from Visceral Organs of Fetal Mice
An optimized procedure to purify neural crest-derived neuronal progenitors from fetal mouse tissues is described. This method takes advantage of expression from fluorescent reporter alleles to isolate discrete populations by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The technique can be applied to isolate neuronal subpopulations throughout development or from adult tissues.
1Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, 3U.O. Gastroenterologia 2, IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Policlinico di Milano
We introduce a novel method for the maintenance of human intestinal mucosa in culture and monitoring of the response to various types of stimuli over at least 24 hrs. With our method, the polarity of the tissue is maintained, allowing for a physiological stimulation via the apical route.
Aphids are effective transmitters of plant viruses. Aphid microinjection of virus, the procedure we will show you today, is a technique allowing researchers to inject virus directly into the hemocoel of the aphid, bypassing the gut, one of the 2 major barriers for virus transmission in a circulative manner. The same technique is also used to inject dsRNA for RNAi.
The method described here utilizes direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into the hemocoel of Manduca sexta insect larvae. M. sexta is a commercially available and well-studied insect. Thus, this method represents a simple approach to analyzing host-bacterial interactions from the perspective of one or both partners.
Due to the simplicity of surgery and the robust behavioural outcome, chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve is one of the pre-eminent animal models of neuropathic pain. Within 24 hrs following surgery, pain hypersensitivity is established and can be quantitatively measured using a von Frey aesthesiometer (mechanical test) and plantar analgesia meter (thermal test).
1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 3Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
A reliable method for the RNA isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from murine cecums is described. The RNA recovered is of sufficient quantity and quality for subsequent qPCR, transcription profiling, and RNA Seq experiments. This technique can be adapted for RNA isolation of other intestinal microbes.
This paper describes a novel method for oral infection of mice using Listeria monocytogenes-contaminated food. The protocol can readily be adapted for use with other food borne bacterial pathogens.
The structure and process for measuring student learning outcomes through customizable assessment rubrics is discussed and applied to a doctoral nursing education program.
Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits
We demonstrate variations of the extracellular multi-unit recording technique to characterize odor-evoked responses in the first three stages of the invertebrate olfactory pathway. These techniques can easily be adapted to examine ensemble activity in other neural systems as well.
We present step-by-step instructions for the generation of neonatal chimeras as well as the dissection and preparation of the thymus for ex vivo imaging by 2-Photon Microscopy.
Among the three mosquito genera, namely Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex, physical genome mapping techniques were established only for Anopheles, whose members possess readable polytene chromosomes. For the genera of Aedes and Culex, however, cytogenetic mapping remains challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes. Here we present a universal protocol for obtaining high-quality preparations of mitotic chromosomes and an optimized FISH protocol for all three genera of mosquitoes.
Small bowel transplantation has become an accepted treatment option for patients with irreversible intestinal failure. Our experimental model of orthotopic small bowel transplantation in rats serves as a reliable tool to address underlying immunologic and inflammatory processes that complicate intestinal transplantation.
1Department of Surgery, University Hospital Zürich, 2Zürich Centre for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zürich, 3Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zürich, 4Imperial Weight Centre, Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College London
Numerous studies using gastric bypass rat models have been recently conducted to uncover the underlying physiological mechanisms of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass operations. This article aims to demonstrate and discuss the technical and experimental details of our published gastric bypass rat model to understand advantages and limitations of this experimental tool.
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.
In this video, we demonstrate two microapplicator techniques used to infect of lepidopteran larvae with baculovirus in order to determine insecticidal efficiency.
Oral and intra haemocolic infection of larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella is described. This insect can be used to study virulence factors of entomopathogenic as well as mammalian opportunistic bacteria. Rearing of the insects, methods of infection and examples of in vivo analysis are described.
Normal adult vascularized mammalian tissue that lacks physiologic angiogenesis and that has not been exposed to surgical intervention is used to study: (i) the initiation and development of angiogenesis following intraperitoneal administration of test agents; and (ii) modification of angiogenesis following systemic administration of selected test agents.
RNAi Mediated Gene Knockdown and Transgenesis by Microinjection in the Necromenic Nematode Pristionchus pacificus
In model organisms, transgenesis can manipulate gene functions while RNAi can knockdown specific mRNA transcripts 1-2. This protocol aims to illustrate the techniques needed to introduce stably transmitted DNA and transient double stranded RNA into the necromenic nematode Pristionchus pacificus for studies in evolutionary, developmental, and behavioral biology.
Here, we detail a methodology for the rapid isolation of mouse intestinal dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages. Phenotypic characterization of intestinal DCs and macrophages is performed using multi-color flow cytometric analysis while magnetic bead enrichment followed by cell sorting is used to yield highly pure populations for functional studies.
Application of a Mouse Ligated Peyer’s Patch Intestinal Loop Assay to Evaluate Bacterial Uptake by M cells
M cells in a specialized follicle-associated epithelium covering Peyer’s patches play an important role for the mucosal immunosurveillance in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Here we described the evaluation method for bacterial transcytosis by M cells in vivo. This method provides a method to understand M-cell function in the immune system.
This protocol discusses the live dissection of Drosophila larvae for the purpose of imaging the movement of GFP tagged axonal vesicles on microtubule tracks.
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.
Induction of Graft-versus-host Disease and In Vivo T Cell Monitoring Using an MHC-matched Murine Model
Murine bone marrow transplantation is a widely used technique to study immunological mechanisms governing graft-versus-host disease in humans. The ability to monitor T cell trafficking patterns in vivo allows for detailed analysis of the development and perpetuation of T cell responses during graft-versus-host disease.
Macrophages play a central role in homeostasis and pathology in many tissues. The protocol presented here describes methods for depleting macrophages in vivo, deriving polarized macrophages from bone marrow aspirates, and adoptively transferring macrophages into mice. These techniques allow determination of the role that polarized macrophages play in health and disease.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.
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.
Intratracheal instillations deliver solutes directly into the lungs. This procedure targets the delivery of the instillate into the distal regions of the lung, and is therefore often incorporated in studies aimed at studying alveoli. We provide a detailed survival protocol for performing intratracheal instillations in mice.
Insect hemocytes carry out many important functions, both immune and non-immune, throughout all stages of insect development. Our present knowledge of hemocyte types and function comes from studies on insect genetic models. Here, we present a method for extracting, quantifying and visualizing hemocytes from wild caterpillars.
1Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University, Durham, 2Department of Biology, North Carolina Central University, Durham, 3Department of Physiology & Pharmacology and Hypertension & Vascular Research Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
An automated myography method for force measurements in isolated mesenteric arteries is described. It employs a Mulvany-Halpern Auto Dual Wire Myograph 510A to determine responses to phenylephrine and extracellular calcium. The method allows consistent determination of isometric responses to agonists in small vessels of diameters of 60 - 300 μm, independently.
Here we describe a method for the isolation of hepatic stellate cells from mouse liver. For stellate cell purification, mouse livers are digested in situ and in vitro by pronase-collagenase treatment prior to density gradient centrifugation. This technique yields highly pure hepatic stellate cells.
Vibratome Sectioning for Enhanced Preservation of the Cytoarchitecture of the Mammalian Organ of Corti
A simple procedure of vibratome sectioning the organ of Corti, followed by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy is described. This procedure allows for improved preservation of the fine cytoarchitecture of the mammalian organ of Corti, and consequently allows for accurate quantification of cell types.
Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) administered in the drinking water is an established murine inflammatory injury model of acute colitis. This protocol outlines the method for DSS treatment and the preparation of tissues.