The plus-maze measures anxiety-like behaviour in rodents. There are two opposite closed and two opposite open arms; anxious rodents avoid the open arms. The central area is neither completely open nor closed, so time spent here is ambiguous and difficult to interpret. Here a modification of the plus-maze protocol eliminating this area is described.
1Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Unit, Frontier Technology Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 2Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science Division of Systems Medicine, Fujita Health University
The elevated plus maze test is one of the most widely used tests for measuring anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie showing the detailed procedures for conducting the test.
Mice and rats, due to their innate cautiousness, are initially slow in consuming a novel food, particularly in a novel place. This hyponeophagia can readily be measured in the laboratory, even though laboratory animals are much less anxious than their wild counterparts
Cognitive impairment resulting from the radiotherapeutic management of brain tumors represents a clinically intractable condition that adversely impacts quality of life. The capability to critically evaluate potential interventions for ameliorating radiation-induced cognitive decrements ultimately depends on the capability to undertake rigorous quantitative assessments of cognition.
The light/dark transition test is one of the most widely used tests to measure anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie that shows detailed procedures on how we conduct the test.
1Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 2Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, 3Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 4Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 5California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 6Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles
The Lashley III maze is a route-learning task that does not rely on aversive stimuli or visual cues. It is thus a highly attractive option for evaluating learning and memory, especially in aging mice or otherwise where stress is a consideration.
MazeSuite is a complete toolset to prepare, present and analyze navigational and spatial experiments. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) is an optical brain imaging technique that enables noninvasive and portable monitoring of cerebral blood oxygenation changes. This paper summarizes collective use of MazeSuite and fNIR within a cognitive processing learning paradigm.
Here are some highlights from the October 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Stereotactic Injection of MicroRNA-expressing Lentiviruses to the Mouse Hippocampus CA1 Region and Assessment of the Behavioral Outcome
MicroRNAs have significant roles in brain structure and function. Here we describe a method to enforce hippocampal miRNA over-expression using stereotactic injection of an engineered miRNA-expressing lentivirus. This approach can serve as a relatively rapid way to assess the in vivo effects of over-expressed miRNAs in specific brain regions.
A Video Demonstration of Preserved Piloting by Scent Tracking but Impaired Dead Reckoning After Fimbria-Fornix Lesions in the Rat
In a piloting scent tracking task, the ability of the rats to return to a refuge with food using visual an odor trail or using dead reckoning in infrared light, the integrated record of previous movements, demonstrates that the hippocampus is necessary for dead reckoning.
1Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 2Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, Mount Sinai Hospital, 3Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 4Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Here we describe a detailed protocol for examination of sociability in mice by using Crawley's sociability and preference for social novelty test. We describe the advantages and possible applications for this procedure, including critical details important for correct interpretation of the results.
Modulation of hippocampally-dependent spatial working memory by direct intrahippocampal microinjection, accompanied and followed by in vivo microdialysis for metabolites in conscious, behaving animals.
1Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 2School of Healthcare Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University
This article describes the use of chronic resident intruder social stress as an ethologically relevant paradigm to model postpartum depression and anxiety in lactating rodents.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here are some highlights from the June 2013 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Mice can swim, but many strains appear to find this activity stressful. To overcome this problem mazes have been devised where escape from shallow water is used to motivate behaviour. These have been demonstrated to support learning at least as good as the traditional and widely used Morris water maze.
The Morris water maze is a well-accepted tool used to document the involvement of the hippocampus in a behavioral task.
A vertical, T-maze olfactometer is described for assaying the behavioral response of arthropods. The olfactometer allows the experimenter to measure choices performed by test subjects when subjected to two potential odor fields. Both attraction to and repulsion from odorants can be measured with this device.
T-maze Forced Alternation and Left-right Discrimination Tasks for Assessing Working and Reference Memory in Mice
1Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 2Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 3Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
This article presents the protocol of T-maze tests using a modified automated apparatus for assessing the learning and memory functions in mice.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
The Morris Water Maze is a behavioral task to test hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. It has been widely used in the study of neurobiology, neuropharmacology and neurocognitive disorders in rodent models.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
In this protocol, a novel application of scent discrimination is described. The Dig task is a reasonably inexpensive task that can be used to assess frontally-mediated cognition following brain damage.
Design and Construction of a Cost Effective Headstage for Simultaneous Neural Stimulation and Recording in the Water Maze
We present a low-cost method to design and construct a light headstage pre-amplifier system with simultaneous neural recording and stimulation capability. This device can be waterproofed for use in swimming animals.
Detection of Protein Palmitoylation in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons by Immunoprecipitation and Acyl-Biotin Exchange (ABE)
The reversible addition of palmitate to proteins is an important regulator of intracellular protein trafficking. This is of particular interest in neurons where many synaptic proteins are palmitoylated. We utilize a simple biochemical method to detect palmitoylated proteins in cultured neurons, which can be adapted for multiple cell types and tissues.
Department of Cardiology, University of Heidelberg
Monocyte-derived macrophages are important cells of the innate immune system. Here, we describe an easy to use in vitro model to generate these cells. Using gradient centrifugation, negative bead isolation and specific cell culture conditions, monocyte-derived macrophages can be generated for phenotypic and functional studies.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
Plastic films labeled "biodegradable" are commercially available for agricultural use as mulches. Tillage represents an attractive disposal method, but degradation under field conditions is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to develop methods for isolating native soil fungi and bacteria that colonize plastic mulch films after field burial.
Protocols are presented for two established motor coordination tasks, the accelerating rotarod and horizontal bar, also two tests developed in Oxford recently, the static rods and parallel bars. These tests can detect motor impairments potentially of interest in their own right, as well as being possible variables in tests of other areas of behavior.
Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Assay for Protein-Protein Interaction in Onion Cells Using the Helios Gene Gun
This article illustrates how to properly use the BioRad Helios Gene Gun to introduce plasmid DNA into onion epidermal cells and how to test for protein-protein interactions in onion cells based on the principle of Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC)
A quantitative method for the analysis of chromosome replication timing is described. The method utilizes BrdU incorporation in combination with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to assess replication timing of mammalian chromosomes. This technique allows for the direct comparison of rearranged and un-rearranged chromosomes within the same cell.
Filamentous occlusion of the Middle cerebral artery is a common model for studying ischemic stroke in mice.
This technical article describes a standard western-blotting procedure using the commercially available NuPAGE electrophoresis Mini-Gel system from Invitrogen.
This video documents large volume (≥20 L) filtration of microbial biomass, ranging between 0.22μm and 2.7μm in diameter, from the water column.
We demonstrate the utility of multicolor flow cytometry for detailed phenotypic and functional characterization of total as well as memory subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in rhesus macaques, the ideal model for HIV/AIDS vaccine studies.
1Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, 3Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center
Lateral fluid percussion (LFP), an established model of traumatic brain injury in mice, is demonstrated. LFP fulfills three major criteria for animal models: validity, reliability and clinical relevance. The procedure, consisting of surgical craniotomy, fixation of hub followed by induction of injury, resulting in focal and diffuse injuries, is described.
Identification and Characterization of Protein Glycosylation using Specific Endo- and Exoglycosidases
Using specific glycosidases to remove sugars from glycoproteins followed by SDS-PAGE is a valuable method to detect glycan modifications on protein samples and is a good choice for initial glycobiology studies. Changes following deglycosylation can be detected as shifts in gel mobility or by staining with glycan sensitive reagents.
Cardiac nuclei are isolated via density sedimentation and immunolabeled with antibodies against pericentriolar material 1 (PCM-1) to identify and sort cardiomyocyte nuclei by flow cytometry.
1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Lab. PALM, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 3Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4ISS, INC.
We combined frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy measures of cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation with diffuse correlation spectroscopy measures of cerebral blood flow index to estimate an index of oxygen metabolism. We tested the utility of this measure as a bedside screening tool to evaluate the health and development of the newborn brain.
Whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) was used in an upper level undergraduate Comparative Vertebrate Biology course in addition to vertebrate dissections. This gave students the opportunity to study gene expression patterns as well as gross anatomy, linking the study of molecular and organismal biology within one course.
Targeting Olfactory Bulb Neurons Using Combined In Vivo Electroporation and Gal4-Based Enhancer Trap Zebrafish Lines
1Department of Biology, Pace University, 2Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 3Division of Cell Biology and Cell Physiology, Zoological Institute, Braunschweig University of Technology
The temporal and spatial resolution of genetic manipulations determines the spectrum of biological phenomena that they can perturb. Here we use temporally and spatially discrete in vivo electroporation, combined with transgenic lines of zebrafish, to induce expression of a GFP transgene specifically in neurons of the developing olfactory bulb.
Use of the Operant Orofacial Pain Assessment Device (OPAD) to Measure Changes in Nociceptive Behavior
1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Florida College of Dentistry, 2Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida College of Medicine, 3Stoelting Co., 4Department of Orthodontics, University of Florida
We present a user-friendly, high-throughput operant system for the evaluation of pain behaviors in awake, conscious rodents. The Orofacial Pain Assessment Device (OPAD) can assess pain through a reward/conflict paradigm thus providing a more humane way of testing. This protocol will yield more clinically relevant and translational data from rodents.
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.
Whole mount in situ hybridization is one of the most widely used techniques in developmental biology. Here, we present a high-resolution double fluorescent in situ hybridization protocol for analyzing the precise expression pattern of a single gene and for determining the overlap of the expression domains of two genes. We include a propidium iodide nuclear counter-stain to highlight tissue organization.
An efficient method to obtain highly purified viable meiotic fractions from mouse testis is described, which combines a refined cell dissociation protocol with fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). This method takes advantage of differences in the DNA content and nuclear density of discrete meiotic fractions.
FRET-based reporters are increasingly used to monitor kinase and phosphatase activities in live cells. Here we describe a method on how to use FRET-based reporters to assess cell cycle-dependent changes in target phosphorylation.
Assessing Somatic Hypermutation in Ramos B Cells after Overexpression or Knockdown of Specific Genes
We describe how to perform retroviral or lentiviral infections of overexpression or shRNA-containing constructs in the human Ramos B-cell line and how to measure somatic hypermutation in these cells.
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2American University in Washington, D.C., 3Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Primary hepatocytes provide a valuable tool to evaluate biochemical, molecular, and metabolic functions in a physiologically relevant experimental system. We describe a reliable protocol for rat in situ liver perfusion, which consistently generates viable hepatocytes up to 1.0 × 108 cells per preparation with cell viability between 88 ~ 96%.
1Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Stony Brook University, 2Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 3Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas
Our Bayesian Change Point (BCP) algorithm builds on state-of-the-art advances in modeling change-points via Hidden Markov Models and applies them to chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) data analysis. BCP performs well in both broad and punctate data types, but excels in accurately identifying robust, reproducible islands of diffuse histone enrichment.
Stereotactic Intracranial Implantation and In vivo Bioluminescent Imaging of Tumor Xenografts in a Mouse Model System of Glioblastoma Multiforme
We describe an integrated method for the precise, stereotactic implantation of human glioblastoma multiforme cells into the brains of nude mice and subsequent serial in vivo imaging to monitor growth and response to treatment of the resultant xenografts.
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.
Microdialysis of Ethanol During Operant Ethanol Self-administration and Ethanol Determination by Gas Chromatography
A method to determine the time course of ethanol concentration in the brains of rats during operant ethanol self-administration is described. Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection is used to quantify ethanol in the dialysate samples, because it has the sensitivity required for the small volumes that are generated.