We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
1Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Here we present two techniques for manipulating gene expression in murine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) by in utero and ex vivo electroporation. These techniques enable one to examine how alterations in gene expression affect RGC development, axon guidance, and functional properties.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
In utero electroporation allows for rapid gene delivery in a spatially- and temporally-controlled manner in the developing central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe a highly adaptable in utero electroporation protocol that can be used to deliver expression constructs into multiple embryonic CNS domains, including the telencephalon, diencephalon and retina.
Craniofacial cartilages develop in close contact with other tissues and are difficult to manipulate in live animals. We are using electroporation to deliver molecular tools during growth of the craniofacial skeleton while bypassing early embryonic effects. This approach will allow us to efficiently test candidate molecules in vivo.
A gene transfer method into the developing mouse brain is described by using a unique surgical method and special shape of electrodes. This unique technique allows transfection of plasmid DNA temporally and spatially, which will aid many neuroscientists in studying brain development.
We describe detailed procedures for the efficient transfection of plasmid DNA into the fibers of foot muscles of live mice using electroporation and the subsequent visualization of protein expression using fluorescence microscopy.
Electrochemotherapy is a combined use of certain chemotherapeutic drugs such as cisplatin and bleomycin and electric pulses applied to the treated tumour nodule. We present the clinical protocol of electrochemotherapy for treatmen of subcutaneous and cutaneous metastases of melanoma.
This protocol describes a non-viral method of delivery of genetic constructs to a certain area of living rodent brain. The method consists of plasmid preparation, micropipette fabrication, neonatal rat pup surgery, microinjection of the construct, and in vivo electroporation.
Single-cell electroporation (SCE) is a specialized technique allowing delivery of DNA or other macromolecules into individual cells within intact tissue, including in vivo preparations. Here we detail the procedure for SCE of a fluorescent dye or plasmid DNA into neurons within the intact brain of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.
Targeting Olfactory Bulb Neurons Using Combined In Vivo Electroporation and Gal4-Based Enhancer Trap Zebrafish Lines
1Department of Biology, Pace University, 2Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 3Division of Cell Biology and Cell Physiology, Zoological Institute, Braunschweig University of Technology
The temporal and spatial resolution of genetic manipulations determines the spectrum of biological phenomena that they can perturb. Here we use temporally and spatially discrete in vivo electroporation, combined with transgenic lines of zebrafish, to induce expression of a GFP transgene specifically in neurons of the developing olfactory bulb.
Methods for Study of Neuronal Morphogenesis: Ex vivo RNAi Electroporation in Embryonic Murine Cerebral Cortex
1Department of Molecular, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 2Institute for Brain Science, Brown University, 3Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University
To conduct a rapid assessment of the function of genes in the development of cerebral cortex, we describe methods involving the ex vivo electroporation of plasmids co-expressing inhibitory RNA (RNAi) and GFP in murine embryonic cortex. This protocol is amenable to the study of various aspects of neurodevelopment such as neurogenesis, neuronal migration and neuronal morphogenesis including dendrite and axon outgrowth.
A method of gene transfer into chicken embryos at later incubation stages (older than Hamburger and Hamilton stage (HH) 22) is described. This method overcomes disadvantages of in ovo electroporation applied to older chicken embryos and is a useful technique to study gene function and regulation at older developmental stages.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science Program, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A method to track cell fusion in living organisms over time is described. The approach utilizes Cre-LoxP recombination to induce luciferase expression upon cell fusion. The luminescent signal generated can be detected in living organisms using biophotonic imaging systems with a sensitivity of detection of ˜1,000 cells in peripheral tissues.
Time-lapse Live Imaging of Clonally Related Neural Progenitor Cells in the Developing Zebrafish Forebrain
The present video demonstrates a method which takes advantage of the combination of electroporation and confocal microscopy to perform live imaging on individual neural progenitor cells in the developing zebrafish forebrain. In vivo analysis of the development of forebrain neural progenitor cells at a clonal level can be achieved in this way.
1JoVE Content Production, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Historically, JoVE, The Journal of Visualized Experiments, has focused primarily on biomedical research and has developed subsections for Bioengineering, Clinical and Translational Medicine, Immunology and Infection, and Neuroscience. This July, JoVE launches its Applied Physics section, which includes a range of content from Plasma Physics to Materials Science. We begin the new section with a notable article from Purdue University, where researchers in the Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing are studying.
Expansion of Embryonic and Adult Neural Stem Cells by In Utero Electroporation or Viral Stereotaxic Injection
Controlling the expansion of somatic stem cells is a major factor hampering their study and use in therapy. Here we describe a system to temporally control neural stem cells expansion during development and adulthood, which can be used to increase the number of neurons generated in the mouse brain.
Visualization and Genetic Manipulation of Dendrites and Spines in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus using In utero Electroporation
1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, 2Confocal and Image Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Medical Research, 3Physiopathologie de la plasticité neuronale, Neurocentre Magendie, Université de Bordeaux
This article describes in detail a protocol to electroporate in utero the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus at E14.5 in mice. We also show that this is a valuable method to study dendrites and spines in these two cerebral regions.
Using fine tip micropipettes we inject plasmid DNA into subdomains of chicken somites or neural tubes. The concentration of the plasmid is adjusted to generate single transfected cells. We then allow the cells to develop into clonal populations.
This protocol describes a simple and inexpensive way to quantify the activity of cis-regulatory elements (i.e., enhancer/promoters) in living mouse retinas via explant electroporation. DNA preparation, retinal dissection, electroporation, retinal explant culture, and post-fixation analysis and quantification are described.
1Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 4Center for High-Throughput Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A method for the incorporation of plasmid DNA into murine retinal cells for the purpose of performing either gain- or loss of function studies in vivo is presented. This method capitalizes on the transient increase in permeability of cell plasma membranes induced by the application of an external electrical field.
We demonstrate a minimally invasive technique referred to as neonatal subventricular zone electroporation. The technique consists of injecting plasmid DNA into the lateral ventricles of neonatal pups and applying electrical current to deliver and genetically manipulate neural stem cells
High efficiency, Site-specific Transfection of Adherent Cells with siRNA Using Microelectrode Arrays (MEA)
The article details the protocol for site-specific transfection of scrambled sequence of siRNA in an adherent mammalian cell culture using a microelectrode array (MEA).
In utero Electroporation followed by Primary Neuronal Culture for Studying Gene Function in Subset of Cortical Neurons
In utero electroporation is a valuable method for transfecting neuronal progenitor cells in vivo. Depending upon the placement of the electrodes and the developmental timepoint of electroporation, certain subsets of cortical cells can be targeted. Targeted cells can then be analyzed in vivo or in vitro for effects of genetic alteration.
Deciphering Axonal Pathways of Genetically Defined Groups of Neurons in the Chick Neural Tube Utilizing in ovo Electroporation
This video demonstrates how to visualize axonal pathways of genetically defined groups of neurons in the embryonic chick spinal cord utilizing in ovo electroporation of reporter genes under the control of specific enhancer elements.
Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging
A method is described for labeling neurons with fluorescent dyes in predetermined functional micro-domains of the neocortex. First, intrinsic signal optical imaging is used to obtain a functional map. Then two-photon microscopy is used to label and image neurons within a micro-domain of the map.
This study describes the development of an in vitro electroporation technique that allows for the manipulation of gene expression in the lower rhombic lip of midgestation embryos.
The mouse inner ear is a placode-derived sensory organ whose developmental program is elaborated during gestation. We define an in utero gene transfer technique consisting of three steps: mouse ventral laparotomy, transuterine microinjection, and in vivo electroporation. We use digital video microscopy to demonstrate the critical experimental embryological techniques.
Here are some highlights from the November 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
1Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 3Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame
A method to conditionally knockdown a target protein’s expression in the adult zebrafish retina is described, which involves intravitreally injecting antisense morpholinos and electroporating them into the retina. The resulting protein is knocked down for several days, which allows testing the protein’s role in the regenerating or intact retina.
In ovo Electroporation in Chick Midbrain for Studying Gene Function in Dopaminergic Neuron Development
1Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Chicago Research Center, 2Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
To assess the function and the regulation of genes during the development of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, we describe a method that involves in ovo electroporation of plasmid DNA constructs into embryonic chick ventral midbrain dopaminergic neuron progenitors. This technique can be used to achieve efficient expression of genes of interest to study different aspects of midbrain development and dopaminergic neuron differentiation.
Ex utero Electroporation and Whole Hemisphere Explants: A Simple Experimental Method for Studies of Early Cortical Development
This protocol describes an improved explant procedure that involves ex utero electroporation, dissection and culture of entire cerebral hemispheres from the embryonic mouse. The preparation facilitates pharmacological studies and assays of gene function during early cortical development.
Direct Delivery of MIF Morpholinos Into the Zebrafish Otocyst by Injection and Electroporation Affects Inner Ear Development
1Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 3Present address: Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
A method to deliver morpholinos directly into the zebrafish otocyst at 24hpf has been developed. Using microinjection of morpholinos into the lumen of otic vesicle and electroporation to effect penetration, we were able to bypass the effect of morpholinos on the brain and obtain effects specific to the inner ear.
We present our optimized high-throughput nucleofection protocol as an efficient way of transfecting primary human monocyte-derived dendritic cells with either plasmid DNA or siRNA without causing cell maturation. We further provide evidence for successful siRNA silencing of targeted gene RIG-I at both the mRNA and protein levels.
In ovo Electroporation of miRNA-based Plasmids in the Developing Neural Tube and Assessment of Phenotypes by DiI Injection in Open-book Preparations
A method by which gene expression in the neural tube can be downregulated in a cell type-specific, traceable manner is described. We demonstrate how in ovo electroporation of microRNA-based plasmids that elicit spatiotemporally controlled RNA interference can be used to investigate commissural axon guidance in the developing neural tube.
1Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame, 2Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, 3Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
We describe a method to conditionally knockdown the expression of a target protein during adult zebrafish fin regeneration. This technique involves micro-injecting and electroporating antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos into fin tissue, which allows testing the protein’s role in various stages of fin regeneration, including wound healing, blastema formation, and regenerative outgrowth.
An in vitro model for genetic study of axon regeneration using cultured adult mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons is described. The method includes a re-suspension/re-plating step to allow axon re-growth from neurons undergoing genetic manipulation. This approach is especially useful for loss-of-function studies of axon regeneration using RNAi-based protein knockdown.
We describe a protocol to identify key roles of host signaling molecules in lytic replication of a model herpesvirus, gamma herpesvirus 68 (γHV68). Utilizing genetically modified mouse strains and embryonic fibroblasts for γHV68 lytic replication, the protocol permits both phenotypic characterization and molecular interrogation of virus-host interactions in viral lytic replication.
Chick in ovo electroporation is a technique which allows genetic manipulation of the avian embryo. Common applications of this technique include functional analysis of genes and putative enhancer elements. This video demonstrates neural tube electroporation in HH 10 chick embryos. Injection technique and proper egg handling are discussed.
1Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Precisionary Instruments Inc., 3Departments of Molecular & Human Genetics and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 4Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
Here we describe a rapid and simple method to image fluorescently labeled cells in semi-thick brain slices. By fixing, slicing, and optically clearing brain tissue we describe how standard epifluorescent or confocal imaging can be used to visualize individual cells and neuronal networks within intact nervous tissue.
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.
We describe a technique for labeling and tracking stem cells with FDA-approved, superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO), ferumoxytol (Feraheme). This cellular imaging technique that utilizes magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for visualization, is readily accessible for long-term monitoring and diagnosis of successful or unsuccessful stem cell engraftments in patients.
Here we demonstrate a simple protocol to create a random mutant library for a given target sequence. We show how this method, which is performed in vivo in Escherichia coli, can be coupled with functional selections to evolve new enzymatic activities.
Introducing a gene of interest into a cell is a powerful method for elucidating its function in vivo. This protocol describes an efficient method of transfecting a culture of human neural stem/precursor cells (hNSPCs) using the Nucleofector electroporation apparatus made by Amaxa.
Drosophila Schneider (S2) cells are an increasingly popular system for the discovery and functional analysis of genes. Our goal is to describe some of the microscopic techniques that make S2 cells such an increasingly important experimental system.
External electric field induces a voltage on the membrane of a cell, termed the induced membrane voltage (ΔΦ). By using the potentiometric dye di-8-ANEPPS, it is possible to measure the ΔΦ noninvasively. This video shows the protocol for measuring ΔΦ using di-8-ANEPPS.
An approach for analyzing migration and eventual fate of avian neural crest cells in quail-chick chimeric embryos is described. This method is a simple and straightforward technique for tracing neural crest cells during migration and differentiation that are otherwise difficult to distinguish within an unmanipulated chick embryo.
Engineering and Evolution of Synthetic Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Gene Therapy Vectors via DNA Family Shuffling
We demonstrate the basic technique to molecularly engineer and evolve synthetic Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vectors via DNA family shuffling. Moreover, we provide general guidelines and representative examples for selection and analysis of individual chimeric capsids with enhanced properties on target cells in culture or in mice.