A method to measure the persistence length or flexural rigidity of biopolymers is described. The method uses a kinesin-driven microtubule gliding assay to experimentally determine the persistence length of individual microtubules and is adaptable to actin-based gliding assays.
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.
This protocol describes the use of microinjection and high resolution imaging in the Drosophila melanogaster syncytial embryo to study mitosis.
Molecular shuttles consisting of functionalized microtubules gliding on surface-adhered kinesin motor proteins can serve as a nanoscale transport system. Here, the assembly of a typical shuttle system is described.
This is a protocol to isolate active full length Kinesin from Drosophila embryos for single-molecule biophysical studies. We show how to collect embryos, make the embryo lysate, and then polymerize microtubules (MTs). Kinesin is purified by immobilizing it on the MTs, spinning down the Kinesin-MT complexes, and then releasing the kinesin from the MTs via ATP addition.
A novel impulsive cell pressurization experiment has been developed using a Kolsky bar device to investigate the molecular/cellular mechanisms of blast-induced traumatic brain injury.
Selection, microinjection, and imaging of fluorescently-labeled F-actin via fluorescent speckle microscopy (FSM).
Culturing neural explants from dissected Xenopus laevis embryos that express fluorescent fusion proteins allows for imaging of growth cone cytoskeletal dynamics.
A protocol for live imaging of GFP-tagged proteins or autofluorescent structures in individual Drosophila oocytes is described.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
In this issue, Oestreicher et al. show us how to isolate magnetotactic bacteria from freshwater samples, and concentrate the bacteria at one end of a glass capillary. The magnetotactic bacteria can then be visualized by light and transmission electron microscopy, and used for various other assays.
We present a procedure for forming a poly(ethylene glycol) self-assembled monolayer (PEG-SAM) on a silicon substrate with gold microelectrodes. The PEG-SAM is formed in a single step and prevents biofouling on silicon and gold surfaces. Electrophoresis is then used for patterning biomolecules down to the nanoscale.
This protocol outlines the steps required to dissect, transfect via electroporation and culture mouse hippocampal and cortical neurons. Short-term cultures may be used for studies of axon outgrowth and guidance, while long-term cultures can be used for studies of synaptogenesis and dendritic spine analysis.
Aplysia californica neurons develop large growth cones in culture that are excellent for high-resolution imaging of growth cone motility and guidance. Here, we present a protocol for dissection and plating of Aplysia bag cell neurons as well as for setting up a chamber for live cell imaging.
Drosophila hemocytes disperse over the entirety of the developing embryo. This protocol demonstrates how to mount and image these migrations using embryos with fluorescently labelled hemocytes.
Live cell imaging is of particular utility when studying the dynamics of organelle trafficking. Here we describe a protocol for live imaging of dense-core vesicles in cultured neurons using wide-field fluorescence microscopy. This protocol is flexible and can be adapted to image other organelles such as mitochondria, endosomes, and peroxisomes.
Optimized System for Cerebral Perfusion Monitoring in the Rat Stroke Model of Intraluminal Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
Cerebral perfusion monitoring has been demonstrated to improve accuracy in ischemic stroke models. Technical difficulties often limit the use of this essential tool for cerebrovascular research. In this video, an optimized system is shown to obtain a single or multi-site hemodynamic monitoring during intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.
Metaphase to anaphase transition is triggered through anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C)-dependent ubiquitination and subsequent destruction of cyclin B. Here, we established a system which, following pulse-chase labeling, allows monitoring cyclin B proteolysis in entire cell populations and facilitates the detection of interference by the mitotic checkpoint.
1Department of Neuroscience, The University of Connecticut Health Center, 2Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, The University of Connecticut Health Center, 3Stem Cell Institute, The University of Connecticut Health Center
This procedure yields telencephalic neurons by going through checkpoints which are similar to those observed during human development. The cells are allowed to spontaneously differentiate, are exposed to factors which push them towards the neural lineage, are isolated, and are plated onto coverslips to allow for terminal differentiation and maturation.
We describe a rapid methodology to isolate and culture hippocampal and cortical neurons from rodent embryos. This protocol allows us to perform experiments in which nearly pure neuronal cultures are required.
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.
Here we describe the technique of preparing and maintaining compartmented chambers for culturing sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia.
Here we describe a basic protocol to image and quantify the mitotic timing of live mammalian tissue culture cells after siRNA transfection.
Here we describe a novel high-content chemically induced inflammation assay aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory bioactives. We have successfully combined automated microscopy with custom developed software scripts enabling automated quantification of the inflammatory response as well as further data processing, analysis, mining, and storage.
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.
Quantitative Measurement of Invadopodia-mediated Extracellular Matrix Proteolysis in Single and Multicellular Contexts
We describe the prototypical method for producing microscope coverslips coated with fluorescent gelatin for visualizing invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation. Computational techniques using available software are presented for quantifying the resultant levels of matrix proteolysis by single cells within a mixed population and for multicellular groups encompassing entire microscopic fields.
1Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, 3Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University
A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method was developed to visually detect viral genomic RNA using fluorescence microscopy. A probe is made with specificity to the viral RNA that can then be identified using a combination of hybridization and immunofluorescence techniques. This technique offers the advantage of identifying the localization of the viral RNA or DNA at steady-state, providing information on the control of intracellular virus trafficking events.
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington, 2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington
The chicken auditory brainstem is comprised of nuclei responsible for binaural sound processing. A single coronal slice preparation maintains the entire circuitry while the cultured approach provides a unique preparation to study the development of neuronal structure and auditory function at the molecular, cellular and network levels.
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.
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.
Structure of HIV-1 Capsid Assemblies by Cryo-electron Microscopy and Iterative Helical Real-space Reconstruction
This article describes a method to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) structure of helically assembled molecules using cryo-electron microscopy. In this protocol, we use HIV-1 capsid assemblies to illustrate the detailed 3D reconstruction procedure for achieving a density map by the iterative helical real-space reconstruction method.
Enhancement of Apoptotic and Autophagic Induction by a Novel Synthetic C-1 Analogue of 7-deoxypancratistatin in Human Breast Adenocarcinoma and Neuroblastoma Cells with Tamoxifen
We have synthesized a novel analogue of pancratistatin with comparable anti-cancer activity as native pancratistatin; interestingly, combinatory treatment with tamoxifen yielded a drastic enhancement in apoptotic and autophagic induction by mitochondrial targeting with minimal effect on noncancerous fibroblasts. Thus, JCTH-4 in combination with tamoxifen could provide a safe anti-cancer therapy.
In mice, the ability to detect pheromones is principally mediated by the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Here, an acute tissue slice preparation of VNO for performing calcium imaging is described. This physiological approach allows observations of subpopulations and/or individual neurons in a living tissue and is convenient for receptor-ligand identification.
We describe a protocol for using bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) or Matrigel to selectively induce dendritic growth in primary sympathetic neurons dissociated from the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of perinatal rats.
Department of Neurology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
We describe a method to target drugs to the central nervous system by either implanting a catheter or performing a bolus injection into the right lateral ventricle in mice. We focus specifically on the delivery of antisense oligonucleotides. This technique is readily adaptable to other drugs and to rats.
A TIRF Microscopy Technique for Real-time, Simultaneous Imaging of the TCR and its Associated Signaling Proteins
The compartmentalization of proteins either within the plasma membrane or into intracellular locations is one regulatory mechanism that can greatly influence signaling outcomes; hence, to understand signaling it is important to study the spatial and temporal behavior of the proteins involved. We describe here a TIRF microscopy based system to study signal transduction in T cells, but is broadly applicable.
A description of the methods used to convert an HP DeskJet 500 printer into a bioprinter. The printer is capable of processing living cells, which causes transient pores in the membrane. These pores can be utilized to incorporate small molecules, including fluorescent G-actin, into the printed cells.
An Organotypic Slice Assay for High-Resolution Time-Lapse Imaging of Neuronal Migration in the Postnatal Brain
This protocol describes an organotypic slice assay optimized for the postnatal brain and high-resolution time-lapse imaging of neuroblast migration in the rostral migratory stream.
This protocol discusses the live dissection of Drosophila larvae for the purpose of imaging the movement of GFP tagged axonal vesicles on microtubule tracks.
The rapid development, small size and transparency of zebrafish are tremendous advantages for the study of innate immune control of infection1-4. Here we demonstrate techniques for infecting zebrafish larvae using the fungal pathogen Candida albicans by microinjection, methodology recently used to implicate phagocyte NADPH oxidase activity in control of fungal dimorphism5.
Electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila embryos allow analyses of developing muscle and neuron electrical properties, as well as characterization of functional synaptogenesis at the glutamatergic neuromuscular junction and central cholinergic and GABAergic synapses.
This technique exposes the Drosophila embryonic neuromusculature for immunohistochemistry or electrophysiological recording. It is useful for studying early events in neuromuscular development or performing electrophysiology in mutants that cannot hatch.
Dying cells are extruded from epithelial tissues by concerted contraction of neighboring cells without disrupting barrier function. The optical clarity of developing zebrafish provides an excellent system to visualize extrusion in living epithelia. Here we describe methods to induce and image extrusion in the larval zebrafish epidermis at cellular resolution.
Visualization of in vivo RNA transport is accomplished by microinjection of fluorescently labeled RNA transcripts into Xenopus oocytes, followed by confocal microscopy.
This is a method for generating gynogenetic diploid zebrafish embryos (embryos whose only genetic contribution comes from the mother) by blocking the second meiotic division immediately after fertilization with ultraviolet light-inactivated sperm. EP embryos are not fully homozygous due to recombination during the first meiotic division, however they are homozygous at all loci that have not been separated from their centromere by recombination.
Studying Mitotic Checkpoint by Illustrating Dynamic Kinetochore Protein Behavior and Chromosome Motion in Living Drosophila Syncytial Embryos
The kinetochore is where the SAC initiates its signal monitoring the mitotic segregation of the sister chromatids. A method is described to visualize the recruitment and turnover of one of the kinetochore proteins and its coordination with the chromosome motion in Drosophila embryos using a Leica laser scanning confocal system.
1College of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 2College of Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University
A tapping mode atomic force microscope (AFM) method for the visualization of plasmid DNA, cytoplasmic proteins, and DNA-protein complexes is described. The method includes alternate approaches for preparing samples for AFM imaging following biochemical manipulation. DNA containing specific protein interacting regions are observed in near-physiologic buffer conditions.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
We have developed a computer program to analyze neuronal morphology. In combination with two existing open source analysis tools, our program performs Sholl analysis and determines the number of neurites, branch points, and neurite tips. The analyses are performed so that local changes in neurite morphology can be observed.
Here we describe an assay that employs the power of microinjection coupled with fluorescent in situ hybridization in order to accurately measure the nuclear export kinetics of mRNA in mammalian somatic cells.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.