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.
The organoptypic hippocampal slice culture model is an in vitro model used to examine neuronal injury in a variety of paradigms. In this article, we describe the methods for generating slice cultures and quantifying neuronal injury.
This is a protocol to prepare and maintain a neocortical slice preparation in organotypic culture for the purpose of making electrical recordings from pyramidal neurons.
Here we describe a cost-effective technique for organotypic culture of adult porcine retina for seven days. Briefly, a sterile filter paper was used to lift the neural retina off from the RPE and place photoreceptor side up on an insert raised by a custom-made stand.
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.
This method describes the generation of organotypic cerebellar cultures and the effect of certain apoptotic stimuli on the viability of different cerebellar cell types.
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.
Organotypic Slice Cultures of Embryonic Ventral Midbrain: A System to Study Dopaminergic Neuronal Development in vitro
A method to generate organotypic slices from the E12.5 murine embryonic midbrain is described. The organotypic slice cultures can be used to observe the behavior of dopaminergic neurons or other ventral midbrain neurons.
An in vitro method to mimic in vivo epithelial differentiation is described. Many viruses target epithelial cells as part of their viral life cycle, and this method provides a means of examining virus:host interactions that more closely resembles that which occurs in vivo. This technique can be used with primary keratinocytes, established cell lines, as well as normal or diseased biopsy tissue.
A robust way to study neuronal avalanches, i.e. scale-invariant spatio-temporal activity bursts, indicative of critical state dynamics in cortex. Avalanches emerge spontaneously in developing superficial layers of cultured cortex which allows for long-term measurements of the activity with planar integrated multi-electrode arrays (MEA) under precisely controlled conditions.
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.
1School of Dentistry, Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering & Repair, Cardiff University, 2Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University School of Medicine, 3Dermatology and Ophthalmology Research, Institute for Regenerative Cures, University of California at Davis
This protocol demonstrates methods used to establish 2D and 3D environments in custom-designed electrotactic chambers, which can track cells in vivo/ex vivo using time-lapse recording at the single cell level, in order to investigate galvanotaxis/electrotaxis and other cellular responses to direct current (DC) electric fields (EFs).
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
We present a protocol that permits to view and to quantitatively asses the morphology of the dendritic tree of individual Purkinje cells grown in organotypic cerebellar slice cultures. This protocol is intended to promote studies on the mechanisms of Purkinje cell dendritic development.
A rotating cell culture system that allows epithelial cells to grow under physiological conditions resulting in 3-D cellular aggregate formation is described. The aggregates generated display in vivo-like characteristics not observed in conventional culture models and serve as a more accurate organotypic model system for a multitude of scientific investigations.
Calmodulin (CaM) pull-down assay is an effective way to investigate the interaction of CaM with various proteins. This method uses CaM-sepharose beads for efficient and specific analysis of CaM-binding proteins. This provides an important tool to explore CaM signaling in cellular function.
1Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, 2Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 3Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, 4Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard
This procedure describes a method for the isolation and culture of the murine organ of Corti with or without the spiral limbus and spiral ganglion neurons. We also demonstrate a method for the expression of an exogenous reporter gene in the organ of Corti explant by electroporation.
We describe a method to prepare organotypic hippocampal slices that can be easily adapted to other brain regions. Brain slices are laid on porous membranes and culture media is allowed to form an interface. This method preserves the gross architecture of the hippocampus for up to 2 weeks in culture.
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.
Developmental studies in the mouse are hampered by the inaccessibility of the embryo during gestation. To promote the long-term culture of the embryonic heart at late stages of gestation, we developed a protocol in which the excised heart is cultured in a semi-solid, dilute Matrigel.
This article demonstrates the dissection and incubation of rabbit retina and particle-mediated gene transfer of plasmids encoding GFP or a variety of subcellular markers into retinal ganglion cells.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University Medical School, 2Physician/Scientist Program, Tulane University Medical School, 3Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
Traditional, two dimensional cell culture techniques often result in altered characteristics with respect to differentiation markers, cytokines and growth factors. Three-dimensional cell culture in the rotating cell culture system (RCCS) reestablishes expression of many of these factors as shown here with an extravillous trophoblast cell line.
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.
1Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, CNRS (UMR 8104), 2Inserm, U1016, Paris, France
This protocol describes a method to image fluorescent T cells introduced into lymph node slices. The technique permits real-time analyses of T cell migration with traditional widefield fluorescence or confocal microscopes.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
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.
Slice Preparation, Organotypic Tissue Culturing and Luciferase Recording of Clock Gene Activity in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
The procedure of preparing slices containing the adult mouse hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and a rapid way to culture the SCN tissue in organotypic culture condition, are reported. Further, the measurement of oscillatory clock gene protein expression using dynamic luciferase reporter technology is described.
We describe a chip-based platform for the three-dimensional cultivation of cells in micro-bioreactors. One chip can house up to 10 Mio. cells that can be cultivated under precisely defined conditions with regard to fluid flow, oxygen tension etc. in a sterile, closed circulation loop.
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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.
We describe a method for preparing DNA coated gold bullets and demonstrate the use of such bullets to biolistically transfect neurons in cultured hippocampal slices.
The localization and distribution of proteins provide important information for understanding their cellular functions. The superior spatial resolution of electron microscopy (EM) can be used to determine the subcellular localization of a given antigen following immunohistochemistry. For tissues of the central nervous system (CNS), preserving structural integrity while maintaining antigenicity has been especially difficult in EM studies. Here, we adopt a procedure that has been used to preserve structures and antigens in the CNS to study and characterize synaptic proteins in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
We seek to define the neural immune signaling responsible for cold-preconditioning as means to identify novel targets for therapeutics development to protect brain before injury onset. We present strategies for such work that require biological systems, experimental manipulations plus technical capacities that are highly reproducible and sensitive.
Dissection and Culture of Mouse Dopaminergic and Striatal Explants in Three-Dimensional Collagen Matrix Assays
Explants from the midbrain dopamine system and striatum are used in a collagen matrix assay for the in vitro analysis of mesostriatal and striatonigral pathway development. In this assay axonal outgrowth and guidance can be manipulated and quantified. It can also be modified for assessing other regions or molecular cues.
In this video article we describe the use of a new ex vivo model of acute herpes simplex virus type I corneal epithelial infection.
We describe a method for imaging response to anti-cancer treatment in vivo and at single cell resolution.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
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.
Analyzing Responses of Mouse Olfactory Sensory Neurons Using the Air-phase Electroolfactogram Recording
The electroolfactogram (EOG) recording is an informative, easy-to-conduct, and reliable way of assessing olfactory function at the level of the olfactory epithelium. This protocol describes a recording setup, mouse tissue preparation, data collection, and basic data analysis.
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.
A simple method is described for analyzing effects of tissue fibroblasts on associated epithelial cells. The combination of this method and three-dimensional tissue culture can facilitate analysis of cells after isolation from 3D. The technique is applicable to cells of varying malignant potential, allowing systematic study of effects of tumor-associated stroma on tumor cells.
We describe a protocol for real-time videoimaging of neuronal migration in the mouse forebrain. The migration of virally-labeled or grafted neuronal precursors was recorded in acute live slices using wide-field fluorescent imaging with a relatively rapid acquisition interval to study the different phases of cell migration, including the durations of the stationary and migration phases and the speed of migration.
Heterotypic Three-dimensional In Vitro Modeling of Stromal-Epithelial Interactions During Ovarian Cancer Initiation and Progression
We describe methodologies for establishing in vitro heterotypic three-dimensional models comprising ovarian fibroblasts and normal ovarian surface or ovarian cancer epithelial cells. We discuss the use of these models to study stromal-epithelial interactions that occur during ovarian cancer development.
The mesothelial clearance assay described here takes advantage of fluorescently labeled cells and time-lapse video microscopy to visualize and quantitatively measure the interactions of ovarian cancer multicellular spheroids and mesothelial cell monolayers. This assay models the early steps of ovarian cancer metastasis.
Monitoring Cell-autonomous Circadian Clock Rhythms of Gene Expression Using Luciferase Bioluminescence Reporters
Circadian clocks function within individual cells, i.e., they are cell-autonomous. Here, we describe methods for generating cell-autonomous clock models using non-invasive, luciferase-based real-time bioluminescence technology. Reporter cells provide tractable, functional model systems for studying circadian biology.