Organotypic Slice Culture of GFP-expressing Mouse Embryos for Real-time Imaging of Peripheral Nerve Outgrowth
We present a method to prepare organotypic slices of mid-gestation mouse embryos for the cultivation and time-lapse imaging of peripheral nerve outgrowth.
A unique tissue engineering method was developed to elongate numerous nerve fibers in culture by recapitulating axon stretch growth; a form of nervous system growth whereby nerves elongate in conjunction with growth of the enlarging body.
Slice cultures facilitate the manipulation of embryo development by gene and pharmacological perturbations. However, culture conditions must ensure that normal development can proceed within the reduced environment of the slice. We illustrate a protocol that facilitates normal spinal cord development to proceed for at least 24 hr.
Here we describe a microdissection technique followed by fluorescent dye injection into the acoustic ganglion of early chick embryos for selective tracing of auditory axon fibers in the nerve and hindbrain.
This abstract describes a novel method to assess the development of neurotoxicity in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. While conventional assessment methods are limited in their ability to detect early changes in nerve function, nerve excitability techniques provide early identification of patients at risk of severe neurotoxicity and insight into pathophysiology.
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.
In order to study the changes of nociceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) in painful neuropathies (PN), we developed protocols that could directly examine three-dimensional morphological changes observed in nociceptive IENFs. Three-dimensional analysis of IENFs has the potential to evaluate the morphological changes of IENF in PN.
1The Lundbeck Foundation Research Center MIND, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
The Spared Nerve Injury animal model is described here as a mouse model of peripheral neuropathic pain following partial denervation of the sciatic nerve by lesioning the tibial and common peroneal nerve branches, leaving the remaining sural nerve intact. Behavioral modification resulting from mechanical allodynia is quantified by von Frey filaments.
Due to the simplicity of surgery and the robust behavioural outcome, chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve is one of the pre-eminent animal models of neuropathic pain. Within 24 hrs following surgery, pain hypersensitivity is established and can be quantitatively measured using a von Frey aesthesiometer (mechanical test) and plantar analgesia meter (thermal test).
Drosophila melanogaster larvae provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms of axonal transport within larval segmental nerves. Using this procedure, 3rd instar larvae carrying various mutations can be compared to wild type larvae.
1European Institute for Molecular Imaging, Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster, 2British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Sciences Unit, Imperial College London, 3Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, 4Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology
The constricting cuff presented in this article is designed to induce atherosclerosis in the murine common carotid artery. Due to the conical shape of its inner lumen the implanted cuff generates well-defined regions of low, high and oscillatory shear stress triggering the development of atherosclerotic lesions of different inflammatory phenotypes.
Immunocytochemical identification of peripheral sensory nerve fiber subtypes (and detection of protein expression therein) are key to the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying peripheral sensation. Here we describe methods for preparation of peripheral/visceral tissue samples, such as skin and limb bones, for specific immunostaining of peripheral sensory nerve fibers.
This protocol shows how to retrogradely label retinal ganglion cells, and how to subsequently make an optic nerve crush injury in order to analyze retinal ganglion cell survival and apoptosis. It is an experimental disease model for different types of optic neuropathy, including glaucoma.
This is a protocol describing how to isolate and culture primary sympathetic neurons from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of newborn rat pups.
Orthotopic Xenografting of Human Luciferase-Tagged Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Cells for in vivo Testing of Candidate Therapeutic Agents
1Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB, 2Department of Radiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB, 3Department of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB
A method for reliably grafting luciferase-tagged human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor cells into the sciatic nerve of immunodeficient mice is described. The use of bioluminescence imaging to demonstrate proper establishment of tumor grafts and criteria for random segregation of animals into study groups are also discussed.
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.
Optic Nerve transection is a widely used model of adult CNS injury. Ninety percent of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) whose axons are completely transected (axotomy) die within 14 days after axotomy. This model is easily amenable to experimental manipulations and highly reproducible.
Optic Nerve transection is a widely used model of adult CNS injury. This model is ideal for performing a number of experimental manipulations that target the retina globally or directly target the injured neuronal population of retinal ganglion cells.
In this video, we will demonstrate how to record electrical activity from identified single neurons in a whole brain preparation, which preserves complex neural circuits. We use transgenic fish in which gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are genetically tagged with a fluorescent protein for identification in the intact brain preparation.
Here we describe a Schwann cell (SC) migration assay in which SCs are able to develop along extending axons.
Modeling Biological Membranes with Circuit Boards and Measuring Electrical Signals in Axons: Student Laboratory Exercises
This is a demonstration of how biological membranes can be understood using electrical models. We also demonstrate procedures for recording action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of the crayfish for student orientated laboratories.
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.
A demonstration of the isolation of neonatal mouse spinal cord for electrophysiologic studies.
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.
The opener muscle of the crayfish leg is presented for its historical importance and experimental versatility in muscle phenotype, synaptic physiology and plasticity.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
A Simplified Technique for In situ Excision of Cornea and Evisceration of Retinal Tissue from Human Ocular Globe
The paper describes a simplified technique to excise corneal and to eviscerate retinal tissues from the ocular globe of human cadaveric donors. The technique described here will help to excise good quality tissues to be used for transplantation, surgical or research purposes without damaging other tissues of the ocular globe.
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).
A formal demonstration of the dissection of a mouse eye, resulting in a whole mount of the retinal pigment epithelium.
This video article demonstrates the establishment of organotypic retinal wholemount cultures and a cytospin procedure for analysis of exogenously induced effects. Organotypic retinal wholemount cultures mimic the in vivo situation and significantly facilitate the accessibility of murine retinas for experimental manipulations while circumventing the disadvantages of classical murine animal models.
This article describes a method for labeling embryonic skin and thymus blood vessels.
Simultaneous Pre- and Post-synaptic Electrophysiological Recording from Xenopus Nerve-muscle Co-cultures
This video demonstrates the procedures used to grow primary cultures of embryonic Xenopus nerve and muscle cells and the usefulness of this preparation for making simultaneous pre- and post-synaptic patch clamp recordings.
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.
1Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University, 2Institute for Textile Technology and Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 3Institute for Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz-Institute of RWTH Aachen University, 4Department of Experimental Molecular Imaging, RWTH Aachen University, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacila Surgery, RWTH Aachen University
A model of stent implantation in mouse carotid artery is described. Compared to other similar methods, this procedure is very rapid, simple and accessible, offering the possibility to study in a convenient way the vascular wall reaction to different drug-eluting stents and the molecular mechanisms of restenosis.
1Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University, 2Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, 3Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, 4Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Here we present a method to isolate and culture cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells and cerebellar granule neurons from postnatal mouse.
An in vivo dissection of the adult Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC) is demonstrated. This particular dissection method causes little damage to the VNC allowing the subsequent labeling of the giant fiber neurons with fluorescent dye for high resolution imaging.
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
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.
Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Replenishment in Cultured Cerebellar Granule Neurons using FM Dyes
A live fluorescence imaging technique to quantify the replenishment and mobilisation of specific synaptic vesicle (SV) pools in central nerve terminals is described. Two rounds of SV recycling are monitored in the same nerve terminals providing an internal control.
Dissection and Culture of Chick Statoacoustic Ganglion and Spinal Cord Explants in Collagen Gels for Neurite Outgrowth Assays
We demonstrate how to dissect and culture chick E4 statoacoustic ganglion and E6 spinal cord explants. Explants are cultured under serum-free conditions in 3D collagen gels for 24 hours. Neurite responsiveness is tested with growth factor-supplemented medium and with protein-coated beads.
We present a technique for labeling single neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila embryos, which allows the analysis of neuronal morphology by either transmitted light or confocal microscopy.
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.
We have developed a minimally invasive technique to create a rabbit ischemic ear wound model by dividing the central artery and nerve and the cranial neurovascular bundle. A subcutaneous tunnel then cuts all subcutaneous tissues. This procedure causes minimal skin disruption and can be safely used in diabetic animals.
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.
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.
A protocol to cut neurons in C. elegans with a MicroPoint pulsed laser is presented. We describe setting up the system, immobilizing worms, and severing labeled neurons. Advantages include a relatively low-cost system and the ability to sever neuronal processes or ablate cells in vivo.
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.
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.
The Giant Fiber System is a simple neuronal circuit of adult Drosophila melanogaster containing the largest neurons in the fly. We describe the protocol for monitoring synaptic transmission through this pathway by recording post synaptic potentials in dorsal longitudinal (DLM) and tergotrochanteral (TTM) muscles following direct stimulation of the Giant Fiber interneurons.
1Lehrstuhl für Biomolekulare Sensoren, Technische Universität München, 2Center for Integrated Protein Science (Munich) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Technische Universität München, 3TUM Institute for Advanced Study and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Technische Universität München, 4Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Technische Universität München
Visualizing individual cells in densely packed tissues, such as terminal Schwann cells (SCs) at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), is challenging. "Sequential photo-bleaching" allows delineating single terminal SCs, for instance in the triangularis sterni muscle explant, a convenient nerve-muscle preparation, where sequential bleaching can be combined with time-lapse imaging and post-hoc immunostainings.