We use magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) to map brain areas involved in the processing of simple sensory stimuli.
SDS-PAGE/Immunoblot Detection of Aβ Multimers in Human Cortical Tissue Homogenates using Antigen-Epitope Retrieval
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 2Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tsukuba University, 3Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University
We describe a technique for the preparation of clarified human cortical homogenates, protein separation by SDS-PAGE, antigen retrieval and immunoblotting with an antibody to the Aβ peptide. Using this protocol, we consistently detect monomeric and multimeric Aβ in cortical tissue from humans with Alzheimer's pathology.
Here we describe a data collection and data analysis method for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a novel non-invasive brain imaging system used in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in studying child brain development. This method provides a universal standard of data acquisition and analysis vital to data interpretation and scientific discovery.
Until recently, expression studies on human brain were limited to quantification of RNA or protein. With the chromatin immunoprecipitation techniques described in this paper, it will be possible to map histone methylation and other epigenetic regulators of gene expression in postmortem brain.
1Department of Pathology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
A new species of cellular prion protein (PrPC) has recently been identified in uninfected human brains using the methods described here. These methods can be used to isolate various PrP species, while some of them are also useful in isolating other misfolded protein aggregates from human brains.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Deep brain stimulation surgery offers a unique opportunity to examine information encoding in the awake human brain. This article will describe intra-operative methods used to perform cognitive and behavioral tasks while simultaneously acquiring physiological data such as EMG, single-unit neuronal activity and/or local field potentials.
FMRI and physiological monitoring is used to study the effects of Acupuncture on the central and peripheral nervous systems. Acupuncture mobilizes a limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network, with great overlap with the default mode network, to modulate neurological activity, possibly related to its autonomic effect in the peripheral nervous system.
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.
Here, we describe a method for efficient cryopreservation and thawing of cortical brain tissue blocks to generate highly enriched neuronal cultures. This simple protocol provides flexibility for later generation of neuronal, astrocyte, and neuronal precursor cell cultures.
The advent of MEG systems sized for young children opens important new opportunities to study brain development. The new system, together with a protocol that aligns experimental requirements with the capacities of children, can be used to study cognitive and language processes in healthy, awake children aged three to six.
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.
Recording Human Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Signals for Neuroscientific Research and Real-time Functional Cortical Mapping
1Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, 2Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, 4Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University, 5Department of Biomed. Eng., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 6Department of Biomed. Sci., State University of New York at Albany, 7Department of Elec. and Comp. Eng., University of Texas at El Paso
We present a method for collecting electrocorticographic signals for research purposes from humans who are undergoing invasive epilepsy monitoring. We show how to use the BCI2000 software platform for data collection, signal processing and stimulus presentation. Specifically, we demonstrate SIGFRIED, a BCI2000-based tool for real-time functional brain mapping.
Mapping Cortical Dynamics Using Simultaneous MEG/EEG and Anatomically-constrained Minimum-norm Estimates: an Auditory Attention Example
We use magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG), combined with anatomical information captured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map the dynamics of the cortical network associated with auditory attention.
Establishing Intracranial Brain Tumor Xenografts With Subsequent Analysis of Tumor Growth and Response to Therapy using Bioluminescence Imaging
Luciferase-modified human brain tumor xenografts can be established intracranially in athymic mice, with subsequent monitoring of tumor growth and response to therapy using bioluminescence imaging. In combination with survival analysis, bioluminescence monitoring is an essential research tool for pre-clinical testing of therapies being considered for treating brain tumors.
The anatomical organization of the primate brain can provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans. Unbiased stereology is a method for accurately and efficiently estimating the total neuron number (or other cell type) in a given reference space1.
Event-related potential (ERP) recording is under utilized in Cognitive Neuroscience because data acquisition techniques are not readily available and this method often has poor spatial resolution. To foster the increased use of ERPs in Cognitive Neuroscience, the present article details key techniques involved in high density ERP data acquisition.
1Alaska Basic Neuroscience Program, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, 2Department Biochemistry, Hood College, 3Department of Cell Biology, Neuronascent, Inc., 4Research and Development, Neuronascent, Inc.
Neural stem cells were prepared from the hippocampus of adult non-hibernating yearling Arctic ground squirrels (AGS). These neural stem cells can be expanded through numerous passages, differentiated and maintained as a nearly 50:50 neuron to glial culture.
This article describes techniques to perform high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging with 1.2 mm sampling in human midbrain and subcortical structures using a 3T scanner. Use of these techniques to resolve topographic maps of visual stimulation in the human superior colliculus (SC) is given as an example.
Measuring the Subjective Value of Risky and Ambiguous Options using Experimental Economics and Functional MRI Methods
1Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine, 3Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4Department of Psychology, New York University, 5Department of Economics, New York University
Using functional MRI and behavioral methods to determine the neural representation of the subjective value of risky and ambiguous options in the human brain.
1Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, 2Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 3Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 4Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
We describe a novel approach for simultaneous analysis of brain function and structure using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We assess brain structure with high-resolution diffusion-weighted imaging and white-matter fiber tractography. Unlike standard structural MRI, these techniques allow us to directly relate anatomical connectivity to functional properties of brain networks.
1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 2Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
Primary, human fetal brain-derived, multipotential progenitor cells proliferate in vitro while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into neurons and astrocytes. This work shows that neural progenitors can be induced to differentiate through stages of the oligodendrocytic lineage by conditioning with select growth factors.
The ability to manipulate human neural stem/precursor cells (hNSPCs) in vitro allows to investigate their utility as cell transplants for therapeutic purposes and to explore human neural development. This protocol presents a method of culturing and passaging hNSPCs in hopes of increasing reproducibility of human stem cell research.
1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kettering University, 43Scan, 5Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University
The full process from brain specimen preparation to serial sectioning imaging using the Knife-Edge Scanning Microscope, to data visualization and analysis is described. This technique is currently used to acquire mouse brain data, but it is applicable to other organs, other species.
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).
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.
Systemic and Local Drug Delivery for Treating Diseases of the Central Nervous System in Rodent Models
Thorough preclinical testing of drugs that act in the central nervous system often involves assessing and comparing drug biodistribution in association with specific routes of administration. Here, three commonly used methods of systemic delivery (intravenous, intraperitoneal, and oral) as well as a method for local delivery (convection-enhanced delivery) are demonstrated in mice.
1Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort (H.O.P.E.), Biologic & Material Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, 2Laboratory of Neuromodulation, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 3Charité, University Medicine Berlin, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, The City College of New York
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an established technique to modulate cortical excitability1,2. It has been used as an investigative tool in neuroscience due to its effects on cortical plasticity, easy operation, and safe profile. One area that tDCS has been showing encouraging results is pain alleviation 3-5.
The cellular heterogeneity of brain tissue poses a significant limitation for the study of epigenetic markings in chromatin because most assays lack single cell resolution. Neurons typically are intermingled with glia and other non-neuronal cells. We provide a protocol to extract and collect neuronal nuclei from human brain.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
1Department of Children's Clinical Neurophysiology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 2Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, 3Department of Pediatrics, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 4Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki
This video explains the background theory of the neonatal EEG activity and the sensory responses, followed by a live demonstration of their recording in neonatal intensive care unit.
Non-Laser Capture Microscopy Approach for the Microdissection of Discrete Mouse Brain Regions for Total RNA Isolation and Downstream Next-Generation Sequencing and Gene Expression Profiling
RNA expression profiling of discrete mouse brain regions requires a precise and repeatable tissue collection strategy. A protocol that uses both coronal brain sectioning and tissue corer-assisted microdissection is described here. The yield and quality of total RNA obtained from the resulting samples confirms the utility of the outlined method.
The purpose of this article is to describe the use of an orthotopic glioblastoma model for chemoradiation studies. This article will go though cell processing, implanting, and radiotherapy of the mouse using an intracranial model.
Micro 3D Printing Using a Digital Projector and its Application in the Study of Soft Materials Mechanics
We demonstrate controlled pattern transformation of swelling gel tubes by elastic instability. A simple projection micro stereo-lithography setup is built using an off-the-shelf digital data projector to fabricate three-dimensional polymeric structures in a layer-by-layer fashion. Swelling hydrogel tubes under mechanical constraint display various circumferential buckling modes depending on dimension.
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.
Classical multivariate pattern analysis predicts sensory stimuli a subject perceives from neural activity in the corresponding cortices (e.g. visual stimuli from activity in visual cortex). Here, we apply pattern analysis cross-modally and show that sound- and touch-implying visual stimuli can be predicted from activity in auditory and somatosensory cortices, respectively.
1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 3Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
A simple and reliable method on isolation and culture of neural stem cells from discarded human fetal cortical tissue is described. Cultures derived from known human neurological disorders can be used for characterization of pathological cellular and molecular processes, as well as provide a platform to assess pharmacological efficacy.
MazeSuite is a complete toolset to prepare, present and analyze navigational and spatial experiments. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) is an optical brain imaging technique that enables noninvasive and portable monitoring of cerebral blood oxygenation changes. This paper summarizes collective use of MazeSuite and fNIR within a cognitive processing learning paradigm.
Mapping the After-effects of Theta Burst Stimulation on the Human Auditory Cortex with Functional Imaging
Auditory processing is the basis of speech and music-related processing. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been used successfully to study cognitive, sensory and motor systems but has rarely been applied to audition. Here we investigated TMS combined with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to understand the functional organization of auditory cortex.
Evaluation of Cancer Stem Cell Migration Using Compartmentalizing Microfluidic Devices and Live Cell Imaging
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A compartmentalizing microfluidic device for investigating cancer stem cell migration is described. This novel platform creates a viable cellular microenvironment and enables microscopic visualization of live cell locomotion. Highly motile cancer cells are isolated to study molecular mechanisms of aggressive infiltration, potentially leading to more effective future therapies.
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).
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
Burrowing, nesting, and hoarding are species-typical activities that mice readily perform in the laboratory. This article describes how they can be easily and cheaply assessed. These protocols are extremely sensitive to mouse strain, brain lesions and diseases. Moreover they constitute “environmental enrichment” for the mice, and embody the “Refinement” aspect of the “3 Rs”18.
An Investigation of the Effects of Sports-related Concussion in Youth Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System
1Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, 2Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 4Bloorview Kids Rehab, 5Toronto Rehab, 6Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 7Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
This article provides an overview of a multi-modal approach to mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis and recovery in youth. This approach combines neuropsychological testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System to monitor the relationship between head impacts and brain activity during cognitive testing.
Blood-brain barrier disruption aids the delivery of certain drugs to the brain. Mannitol delivered intra-arterially shrinks cells surrounding blood vessels in order to physically disrupt the barrier.
1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Lab. PALM, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 3Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4ISS, INC.
We combined frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy measures of cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation with diffuse correlation spectroscopy measures of cerebral blood flow index to estimate an index of oxygen metabolism. We tested the utility of this measure as a bedside screening tool to evaluate the health and development of the newborn brain.
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.
Bioimaging methods used to assess cell biodistribution of nanoparticles are applicable for therapeutic and diagnostic monitoring of nanoformulated compounds. The methods described herein are sensitive and specific when assessed by histological coregistration. The methodologies provide a translational pathway from rodent to human applications.
The goal of this technique is to assess serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmitter function in the live and free-breathing animal with pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) and an intravenous challenge with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine.
Despite an increase in the use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, the study of young pediatric populations remains a challenge. We present a hands-on, step-by-step video protocol including guidelines for clinicians and researchers intending to perform (f)MRI in young children.