Reproducible Mouse Sciatic Nerve Crush and Subsequent Assessment of Regeneration by Whole Mount Muscle Analysis
In this report we describe a method to crush mouse sciatic nerve. This method uses readily available hemostatic forceps and easily and reproducibly produces complete sciatic nerve crush. In addition, we describe a method to prepare muscle whole mounts suitable for analysis of nerve regeneration after sciatic nerve crush.
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.
Engineering Skeletal Muscle Tissues from Murine Myoblast Progenitor Cells and Application of Electrical Stimulation
Engineered muscle tissue has great potential in regenerative medicine, as disease model and also as an alternative source for meat. Here we describe the engineering of a muscle construct, in this case from mouse myoblast progenitor cells, and the stimulation by electrical pulses.
Whole-mount Immunohistochemical Analysis for Embryonic Limb Skin Vasculature: a Model System to Study Vascular Branching Morphogenesis in Embryo
We introduce a whole-mount immunohistochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy with multiple labelling for analyzing intricate vascular network formation in mouse embryonic limb skin.
A High Throughput in situ Hybridization Method to Characterize mRNA Expression Patterns in the Fetal Mouse Lower Urogenital Tract
Here, we describe an efficient high throughput in situ hybridization (ISH) method for visualizing patterns of mRNA expression in developing fetal mouse prostate tissue sections. The method can be easily adapted to visualize mRNA expression patterns in other mouse tissues or in tissues from other species.
1Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 2Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 3Developmental Biology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 4Howard Hughes, Medical Institute, 5Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, The Rockefeller University
The interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are the pacemaker cells of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They form complex networks between smooth muscle cells and post-ganglionic neuronal fibers to regulate GI contractility. Here, we present immunofluorescence methods cross-sectional and whole-mount visualization of murine ICC networks.
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.
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.
A formal demonstration of the dissection of a mouse eye, resulting in a whole mount of the retinal pigment epithelium.
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.
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.
The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of Drosophila melanogaster is an important model system for studying normal synaptic function as well as perturbations to synaptic function found in certain neurological diseases. We present a protocol for dissection of the Drosophila larval motor system and immunostaining for active zone proteins within the NMJ.
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.
A Practical Approach to Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping: A Visual Guide to Mark and Track Cells In Vivo
Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping (GIFM) marks and tracks cells with fine spatial and temporal control in vivo and elucidates how cells from a specific genetic lineage contribute to developing and adult tissues. Demonstrated here are the techniques required to fate map E12.5 mouse embryos for epifluorescent and explant analysis.
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.
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.
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.
Here, we describe a method for isolation, culture and manipulation of mouse embryonic pancreas. This represents an excellent ex vivo system for studying various aspects of pancreatic development, including morphogenesis, differentiation and growth. Pancreatic bud explants can be cultured for several days and used in a range of different applications, including whole-mount immunofluorescence and live imaging.
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.
This protocol describes the isolation and dissociation of mouse medulloblastoma tissue, and subsequent allografting of the tumor cells into immunocompromised recipient mice in order to initiate secondary medulloblastoma.
Fluorescence-based Measurement of Store-operated Calcium Entry in Live Cells: from Cultured Cancer Cell to Skeletal Muscle Fiber
1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Confocal Microscopy and Cell Imaging Core, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 3Muscle Biology Research Group-MUBIG Schools of Nursing & Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City
The extent of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) can be monitored using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators. Mn2+ quenching of such indicators assays SOCE in cultured cells and skeletal muscle fibers. A technique allowing spatial and temporal resolution of SOCE by confocal imaging of mechanically skinned muscle fibers is also described.
Retrograde Perfusion and Filling of Mouse Coronary Vasculature as Preparation for Micro Computed Tomography Imaging
1Department of Pathology, Center for Cardiovascular Biology, and Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, 2Departments of Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington
Visualization of the coronary vessels is critical to advancing our understanding of cardiovascular diseases. Here we describe a method for perfusing murine coronary vasculature with a radiopaque silicone rubber (Microfil), in preparation for micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) imaging.
This protocol describes the isolation, enrichment, and maintenance of medulloblastoma tumor stem cells derived from mutant mice with ectopic Sonic hedgehog pathway activity.
Use of LysoTracker to Detect Programmed Cell Death in Embryos and Differentiating Embryonic Stem Cells
We present a simple protocol to visualize regions of programmed cell death (PCD) in mouse embryos and differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cell cultures using a highly soluble dye called LysoTracker.
Morphological Analysis of Drosophila Larval Peripheral Sensory Neuron Dendrites and Axons Using Genetic Mosaics
The dendritic arborization sensory neurons of the Drosophila larval peripheral nervous system are useful models to elucidate both general and neuron class-specific mechanisms of neuron differentiation. We present a practical guide to generate and analyze dendritic arborization neuron genetic mosaics.
Rat Mesentery Exteriorization: A Model for Investigating the Cellular Dynamics Involved in Angiogenesis
This article describes a simple model for stimulating angiogenesis in the rat mesentery. The model produces dramatic increases in capillary sprouting, vascular area and vascular density over a relatively short time course in a tissue that allows en face visualization of entire microvascular networks down to the single cell level.
This article describes various procedures for screening rats and mice to detect endo- or ectoparasitism. Several diagnostic assays will be demonstrated, both those suitable for use on live animals and those used after euthanasia of the animal. Photographs to aid in identification of rat and mouse parasites will be included.
Derivation of Enriched Oligodendrocyte Cultures and Oligodendrocyte/Neuron Myelinating Co-cultures from Post-natal Murine Tissues
1Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 2Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, 3Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Stony Brook University, 4Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa
This article describes methods to derive enriched populations of murine oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in primary culture, which differentiate to produce mature oligodendrocytes (OLs). In addition, this report describes techniques to produce murine myelinating co-cultures by seeding mouse OPCs onto a neurite bed of mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGNs).
We demonstrate a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method to identify factor interactions at tissue-specific genes during or after the onset of tissue-specific gene expression in mouse embryonic tissue. This protocol should be widely applicable for the study of tissue-specific gene activation as it occurs during normal embryonic development.
This whole mount in situ hybridization protocol discusses critical steps that ensure reproducible high quality results for gene expression studies in E8.5-E11.5 day old mouse embryos.
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.
1Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, 2Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, 3Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, 4Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 5Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine & Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco
To assess the in vivo effects of therapeutic interventions for muscle disease, methods are needed to quantitate force generation and fatigability in treated muscle. We detail an approach to evaluating myo-mechanical properties in explanted mouse hindlimb muscle. This analysis provides a robust approach to quantitating the effects of genetic modification on muscle function, as well as comparison of therapies in mouse models of muscle disease.
Our protocol describes how to dissect the rat abdominal mammary gland and how to prepare mammary gland whole mounts. It also describes how to analyze mammary gland morphology using three end-points (number of terminal end buds, epithelial elongation and differentiation) and to use these results to predict mammary cancer risk in rats which were exposed to dietary modifications in utero or during prepuberty.
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 Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, 2Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
Neural circuits are topographically organized into functional compartments with specific molecular profiles. Here, we provide the practical and technical steps for revealing global brain topography using a versatile wholemount immunohistochemical staining approach. We demonstrate the utility of the method using the well-understood cytoarchitecture and circuitry of cerebellum.
This video demonstrates New culture, a method by which chick embryos are cultured outside the egg for up to 24 hr. This method enables one to study early development (primitive streak to 14 som.), a period corresponding to E7-9 in mouse. Applications of this technique include electroporation, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
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.
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.
This video shows the process of whole-cell voltage clamp recordings in the retinal slice of the aquatic tiger salamander. We demonstrate the preparation of the slice as well as how to perform patch clamp recordings during visual stimulation of the retina.
This protocol is successfully used to quantitatively detect levels and spatial patterns of mRNA expression in multiple tissue types across vertebrate species. The method can detect low abundance transcripts and allows processing of hundreds of slides simultaneously. We present this protocol using expression profiling of avian embryonic brain formation as an example.
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.
A rapid way to conduct immunostaining of zebrafish embryonic heart is described. Compared to the whole mount immunostaining approach, this method dramatically increases the penetration of the antibodies, which allows obtaining high resolution images that reveal cellular/subcellular structures in the heart within a much reduced processing time.
Traditionally the vertical slice and the whole-mount preparation of the retina have been used to study the function of retinal circuits. Here, we describe the novel slicing method to preserve the dendritic morphology of retinal neurons intact.
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.
Here we describe a whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol for determining the expression and localization properties of RNAs expressed during embryogenesis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
The amperometric technique measures dopamine release from a single cell by detecting the oxidative current produced by spontaneous dopamine oxidization. Simultaneous voltage clamp and amperometry methodology reveal the mechanistic relationship between the overall "activity" of dopamine transporter and the regulatory role of this activity on the reverse transport of dopamine.
Tracking Neutrophil Intraluminal Crawling, Transendothelial Migration and Chemotaxis in Tissue by Intravital Video Microscopy
We describe a protocol of brightfield intravital microscopy for measuring dynamic neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions during neutrophil recruitment in response to the source of a neutrophil chemoattractant in vivo. Neutrophil intraluminal crawling, transendothelial migration and chemotaxis in mouse cremaster muscle tissue are visualized with time-lapsed video photography and tracked with ImageJ.
1Department of Biology, University of Iowa, 2Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc.
A combination of different techniques to maximize data collection from mouse tissue is presented.
RNA In situ Hybridization in Whole Mount Embryos and Cell Histology Adapted for Marine Elasmobranchs
By combining methods for RNA whole mount in situ hybridization and histology, gene expression can be linked with cell fate decisions in the developing embryo. These methods have been adapted to marine elasmobranchs and facilitate the use of these animals as model organisms for biomedical, toxicology and comparative studies.
Zebrafish represents a valuable model to study the mechanisms of heart regeneration in vertebrates. Here, we present a protocol for induction of a heart infarct in adult zebrafish using cryoinjury. This method results in massive cell death within 20% of the ventricular wall, similar to that observed in mammalian infarcts.