1Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
An in vivo animal model of injury is described. The method takes advantage of the subcutaneous position of the fibular nerve. Velocity, timing of muscle activation, and arc of motion are all pre-determined and synchronized using commercial software. Post injury changes are monitored in vivo using MR imaging/spectroscopy.
1Department of Neurology and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, 2Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 3Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Neurology and the Gene Therapy Center , University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
We describe a minimally-invasive and painless method to measure canine hindlimb muscle strength and muscle response to repeated eccentric contractions.
Isometric and Eccentric Force Generation Assessment of Skeletal Muscles Isolated from Murine Models of Muscular Dystrophies
1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2Department of Physiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Muscle function measurements contribute to the evaluation of potential therapeutics for muscle pathology, as well as to the determination of mechanisms underlying physiology of this tissue. We will demonstrate the preparation of the extensor digitorum longus and diaphragm muscles for functional testing. Protocols for isometric and eccentric contractions will be shown, as well as differences in results between dystrophic muscles, representing a pathological state, and wildtype muscles.
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.
We have developed a device (Twister) to study the regulation of tonic muscle activity during active postural maintenance. Twister measures torsional resistance and muscular responses in standing subjects during twisting of the body axis. The device can be flexibly configured to study various aspects of tonic control across the neck, trunk, and/or hips.
Transgenic mice have been extremely useful in ascribing physiological function to genes. As such, research in general, and functional studies of airway, in particular, have undergone a remarkable shift toward murine models. Here we provide protocols for in vitro trachea constriction studies to evaluate smooth muscle function in murine airway.
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.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
We introduce an approach to evaluate the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in isolated lymphatics to study Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-sensitizing mechanisms of lymphatic smooth muscle contraction.
Here we show our method to isolate mouse epidermal neural crest stem cells (EPI-NCSC). Technique involves micro-dissecting whisker follicles, isolating the bulge and placeing it into tissue culture. EPI-NCSC start to emigrate from bulge explants onto the substratum within 3 - 4 days.
This article describes the basic procedures for conducting optical mapping experiments in the Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart using the panoramic imaging system, and the dual (voltage and calcium) imaging modality.
Murine Spinotrapezius Model to Assess the Impact of Arteriolar Ligation on Microvascular Function and Remodeling
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, 3Office of Animal Welfare, University of Virginia, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering & Institute for Computational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
We demonstrate a novel arterial ligation model in murine spinotrapezius muscle, including a step-by-step procedure and description of required instrumentation. We describe the surgery and relevant outcome measurements relating to vascular network remodeling and functional vasodilation using intravital and confocal microscopy.
1Development and Aging Program, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 2Cardiac Electrophysiology Group, Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 3Biology Department and Heart Institute, San Diego State University
We have developed a Semi-automated Optical Heartbeat Analysis method (SOHA) for analyzing high speed optical recordings from Drosophila, zebrafish and embryonic mouse hearts. We demonstrate the application of our methodology to the analysis of heart function in fruit fly and embryonic mouse hearts.
1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Muscle Biology Research Group, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 3Pharmacology division, College of Pharmacy, DHLRI, Ohio State University
We describe a method to directly measure muscle force, muscle power, contractile kinetics and fatigability of isolated skeletal muscles in an in vitro system using field stimulation. Valuable information on Ca2+ handling properties and contractile machinery of the muscle can be obtained using different stimulating protocols.
Methods for ECG Evaluation of Indicators of Cardiac Risk, and Susceptibility to Aconitine-induced Arrhythmias in Rats Following Status Epilepticus
Techniques for measurement of electrical activity of the heart by electrocardiogram (ECG), and analysis of cardiac risk factors and susceptibility to arrhythmias following status epilepticus (SE) in the rat are described.
Production of Transgenic Xenopus laevis by Restriction Enzyme Mediated Integration and Nuclear Transplantation
This video protocol demonstrates a method for generating transgenic Xenopus laevis by introduction of transgenes into sperm nuclei followed by nuclear transplantation into unfertilized eggs.
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, 3McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
A murine model of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), a safe and inexpensive clinical modality, to the anterior compartment muscles is described. This model has the advantage of modifying a readily available clinical device for the purpose of eliciting targeted and specific muscle contractions in mice.
To follow the progression of an immune response over time within the same mouse, lymph nodes can be sequentially removed by surgery. Here, we describe how this technique can be performed.
We described structural features of the Glia-neuromuscular synapses in a novel Inside-out tissue preparation of live fly larvae using fluorescent dyes with confocal microscopy. We labeled live neuron terminals with fluorescent primary antibodies to HRP, and also visualized the perisynaptic space with fluorescent Dextrans.
Organotypic Collagen I Assay: A Malleable Platform to Assess Cell Behaviour in a 3-Dimensional Context
A method is described for the preparation of a 3-dimensional matrix consisting of collagen type I and primary human fibroblasts. This organotypic gel serves as a useful substrate to assess invasive cell migration because it mimics basic features of tissue stroma and is amenable to many forms of microscopy.
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.
We describe the protocol to perform a cardiac stress test induced by dobutamine and monitored by cardiac catheterization in normal mice. Also we show its application to unmask subclinical cardiac disease in high fat diet-induced obese mice.
In this video, we demonstrate the experimental techniques used to fabricate compliant, extracellular matrix (ECM) coated substrates suitable for cell culture, and which are amenable to traction force microscopy and observing effects of ECM stiffness on cell behavior.
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.
1Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium, 2Laboratory for Ion Channel Research, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium, 3TRP Research Platform Leuven (TRPLe), KU Leuven, Belgium
Cystometry is an efficient technique to measure bladder function of small animals in vivo. The bladder is continuously infused at rates controlled through an intravesical catheter, whereas the urethra is left free for micturition. This allows for repetitive filling and emptying of the bladder, while intravesical pressure and voided volume are recorded.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive tool to gain insight on the physiology and function of the human nervous system. Here, we present our TMS techniques to study cortical excitability of the upper limb and lumbar musculature.
Xenopus embryonic epithelia are an ideal model system to study cell behaviors such as polarity development and shape change during epithelial morphogenesis. Traditional histology of fixed samples is increasingly being complemented by live-cell confocal imaging. Here we demonstrate methods to isolate frog tissues and visualize live epithelial cells and their cytoskeleton using live-cell confocal microscopy.
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Research Medicine, Veterans Administration TVHS
We describe the use of a mouse ES cell based assay to identify critical time windows for Wnt/β-catenin and BMP signal activation during cardiogenic induction. The method provides a standardized platform that reliably quantifies cardiogenic efficiency, and it is applicable to the study of other cell lineages.
Evaluation of Muscle Function of the Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle Ex vivo and Tibialis Anterior Muscle In situ in Mice
Changes in limb muscle contractile and passive mechanical properties are important biomarkers for muscle diseases. This manuscript describes physiological assays to measure these properties in the murine extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior muscles.
This paper details the dissection procedure, instrumental setup, and experimental conditions during optical mapping of transmembrane potential (Vm) and intracellular calcium transient (CaT) in intact isolated Langendorff perfused mouse hearts.
The presented method offers a way to detect functional effective cardiotropic autoantibodies in the plasma of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, irrespective of the specific antigen, by analysing the impact of isolated patient immunoglobulin on cellular shortening and intracellular calcium transients in isolated rat cardiomyocytes.
We describe the isolation of neonatal cardiomyocytes and the preparation of the cells for encapsulation in fibrin hydrogel constructs for tissue engineering. We describe methods for analyzing the tissue engineered myocardium after the culture period including active force generated upon electrical stimulation and cell viability and immunohistological staining.
This article demonstrates how to conduct electrophysiological recordings of synaptic responses on the extensor muscle in the walking leg of a crayfish and how the nerve terminals are visualized to show the gross morphological differences of high- and low-output nerve terminals.
This method describes how to dissect and assess mammary gland development and function from mice. Excised mammary glands are assessed for the degree of development using whole mount while milk ejection is evaluated using an oxytocin-based myoepithelial cell contraction assay.
1Division of Developmental Neuroscience, United Centers for Advanced Research and Translational Medicine (ART), Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2The Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST)
Whole embryo culture technique allows us to culture mouse and rat embryos ex vivo condition during limited periods corresponding to midgestation stages. In this video protocol, we demonstrate our standard procedures of rat whole embryo culture after E12.5 using the rotator-type bottle culture system.
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.
Long-term, High-resolution Confocal Time Lapse Imaging of Arabidopsis Cotyledon Epidermis during Germination
We describe a protocol using chamber slides and media to immobilize plant cotyledons for confocal imaging of the epidermis over several days of development, documenting stomatal differentiation. Fluorophore-tagged proteins can be tracked dynamically by expression and subcellular localization, increasing understanding of their possible roles during cell division and cell-type differentiation.
In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool.
We describe the gross dissection of the stomach of the American lobster (Homarus americanus).
Cultured muscle cells are an inadequate model to recapitulate innervated muscle in vivo. A functional motor unit can be reproduced in vitro by innervation of differentiated human primary muscle cells using rat embryo spinal cord explants. This article describes how co-cultures of spinal cord explants and muscle cells are established.
1Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center - University of Amsterdam, 2Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion, Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD), 3Department of Biological Psychology, VU University, 4EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Center, 5Institute of Health Sciences, VU University, 6Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Center
Measurement of autonomic nervous system activity usually confines the researcher and participant to the laboratory, which may provide an intimidating environment to children. The VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU-AMS) device can record cardiac autonomic control in any setting. The VU-AMS proved very amenable to testing in children.
Details methods for high-resolution Ca2+ imaging of smooth muscle within isolated organs, including: preparation of the tissue, image acquisition and data analysis.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
Exploring Arterial Smooth Muscle Kv7 Potassium Channel Function using Patch Clamp Electrophysiology and Pressure Myography
Measurements of Kv7 (KCNQ) potassium channel activity in isolated arterial myocytes (using patch clamp electrophysiological techniques) in parallel with measurements of constrictor/dilator responses (using pressure myography) can reveal important information about the roles of Kv7 channels in vascular smooth muscle physiology and pharmacology.
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.
Due to the hard chorion and soft embryos, manipulation of medaka embryos is more involved than in zebrafish. This video shows step-by-step procedures for how to manipulate medaka embryos, including dechorionation, mounting in agarose for imaging and cell transplantation for the production of chimeras. These procedures are essential to use medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory to take full advantage of their complementary features for the genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions.
Osmotic Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans: Synaptic Function of Two Genes, Orthologues of Human NRXN1 and NLGN1, as Candidates for Autism
Neurexins and neuroligins are membrane-neuron adhesion proteins which perform essential roles in synaptic differentiation and transmission. Neuroligin deficient mutants of C. elegans are defective in detecting osmotic strength, but when they also contain a mutation in the gene coding neurexin, they recover the wild type phenotype.
High-frequency High-resolution Echocardiography: First Evidence on Non-invasive Repeated Measure of Myocardial Strain, Contractility, and Mitral Regurgitation in the Ischemia-reperfused Murine Heart
High frequency Doppler ultrasound is a novel technology for assessing regional myocardial function. This work presents first evidence demonstrating applicability of this versatile imaging platform for the repeated measure of myocardial strain, dp/dt, and mitral regurgitation in the ischemia-reperfused (IR) murine heart.
Efficient Derivation of Human Cardiac Precursors and Cardiomyocytes from Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cells with Small Molecule Induction
1San Diego Regenerative Medicine Institute, 2Xcelthera, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School, 4Division of SCI Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, 5Program in Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 6La Jolla IVF
We have established a protocol for induction of cardioblasts direct from pluripotent human embryonic stem cells maintained under defined conditions with small molecules, which enables derivation of a large supply of human cardiac progenitors and functional cardiomyocytes for cardiovascular repair.
Evaluation of Biomaterials for Bladder Augmentation using Cystometric Analyses in Various Rodent Models
Surgical stages of bladder augmentation are described using 3-D scaffolds in murine and rat models. To test the efficacy of biomaterial configurations for use in bladder augmentation, techniques for both awake and anesthetized cystometry are presented.