Habituation and prepulse inhibition of startle are operational measures of sensory gating. Sensory gating is disrupted in schizophrenia, and some other mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. We here describe a standard protocol to assess short-term and long-term habituation as well as prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle responses in rats and mice.
A fast and inexpensive method for the behavioral determination of hearing parameters like hearing thresholds, hearing impairments or phantom perceptions (subjective tinnitus) is described. It uses pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and can be easily implemented in a personal computer using a programmable AD/DA-converter and a piezo sensor.
Implementing Dynamic Clamp with Synaptic and Artificial Conductances in Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells
1Discipline of Biomedical Science, School of Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney, 2The MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, 3Discipline of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney
This video article illustrates the set-up, the procedures to patch cell bodies and how to implement dynamic clamp recordings from ganglion cells in whole-mount mouse retinae. This technique allows the investigation of the precise contribution of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, and their relative magnitude and timing to neuronal spiking.
Cellular viability depends on timely and efficient management of protein misfolding. Here we describe a method for visualizing the different potential fates of a misfolded protein: refolding, degradation, or sequestration in inclusions. We demonstrate the use of a folding sensor, Ubc9ts, for monitoring proteostasis and aggregation quality control in live cells using 4D microscopy.
This article will detail the protocol for measuring calpain activity in fixed and living cells using flow cytometry.
A Cell Free Assay System Estimating the Neutralizing Capacity of GM-CSF Antibody using Recombinant Soluble GM-CSF Receptor
1Bioscience Medical Research Center, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, 2First department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyorin University, 3Neosilk Laboratory, Immuno Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd.
We designed a cell-free receptor binding assay in order to estimate the binding of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the receptors. It enables us to evaluate competitive inhibition of biotinylated GM-CSF binding to soluble GM-CSF receptor alpha by GM-CSF autoantibody with excellent reproducibility.
Measuring Cation Transport by Na,K- and H,K-ATPase in Xenopus Oocytes by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: An Alternative to Radioisotope Assays
We describe a method to quantify the activity of K+-countertransporting P-type ATPases by heterologous expression of the enzymes in Xenopus oocytes and measuring Rb+ or Li+ uptake into individual cells by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The method is a sensitive and safe alternative to radioisotope flux experiments facilitating complex kinetic studies.
A Simple and Efficient Method to Detect Nuclear Factor Activation in Human Neutrophils by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 3Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in blood. Neutrophils possess transcriptionally regulated functions such as production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibition of apoptosis. These functions can be studied with the method presented here, which allows detection and quantification of nuclear factors by flow cytometry in isolated nuclei
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive tool to gain insight on the physiology and function of the human nervous system. Here, we present our TMS techniques to study cortical excitability of the upper limb and lumbar musculature.
Identification of Growth Inhibition Phenotypes Induced by Expression of Bacterial Type III Effectors in Yeast
In this video, we describe a procedure for the expression of bacterial type III effectors in yeast and the identification of effector-induced growth inhibition phenotypes. Such phenotypes can be subsequently exploited to elucidate effector functions and targets.
This paper describes a novel method for oral infection of mice using Listeria monocytogenes-contaminated food. The protocol can readily be adapted for use with other food borne bacterial pathogens.
Endothelial Cell Co-culture Mediates Maturation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell to Pancreatic Insulin Producing Cells in a Directed Differentiation Approach
The current study describes a directed differentiation approach in inducing pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Of great significance is the finding that endothelial cell co-culture mediates maturation of human embryonic stem cell derived pancreatic progenitors into insulin expressing cells.
1Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), Charité Medical Faculty and Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), 2Medical Department, Division of Cardiology, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 3Medical Department, Division of Cardiology and Angiology, Campus Mitte, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Kv channel dysfunction is associated with cardiac arrhythmias. In order to study the molecular mechanisms that lead to such arrhythmias we utilize a systematic protocol for isolation of atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes from Kv channel ancillary subunit knockout mice. Isolated cardiomyocytes can then immediately be used for cellular electrophysiological studies, biochemical or immunofluorescence (IF) assays.
Induction of Alloantigen-specific Anergy in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells by Alloantigen Stimulation with Co-stimulatory Signal Blockade
1Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2Department of Medicine, Brigham and Womens Hospital, 3Pediatric Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 4Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital Boston
This paper describes a simple technique to induce alloantigen-specific anergy in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The technique can be applied clinically to generate non-alloreactive donor cells. Infusion of these cells could improve immune reconstitution and reduce toxicity after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
Cell-based Calcium Assay for Medium to High Throughput Screening of TRP Channel Functions using FlexStation 3
This video provides a detailed protocol for studying the pharmacological profile of human TRPA1 channels using FlexStation 3. The protocol covers details of cell preparation, dye loading and operation of the microplate reader, FlexStation 3.
Monitoring of Ubiquitin-proteasome Activity in Living Cells Using a Degron (dgn)-destabilized Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-based Reporter Protein
A method to monitor ubiquitin-proteasome activity in living cells is described. A degron-destabilized GFP- (GFP-dgn) and a stable GFP-dgnFS fusion protein are generated and transduced into the cell using a lentiviral expression vector. This technique allows to generate a stable GFP-dgn/GFP-dgnFS expressing cell line in which ubiquitin-proteasome activity can be easily assessed using epifluorescence or flow cytometry.
This protocol describes the use of microinjection and high resolution imaging in the Drosophila melanogaster syncytial embryo to study mitosis.
The colony forming cell (CFC) assay is an in vitro assay in which hematopoietic progenitors form colonies in a semi-solid medium. A combination of colony morphology, cell morphology, and flow cytometry are used to assess the ability of the progenitors to proliferate and differentiate along the different hematopoietic lineages.
A modified 3-D in vitro system is presented in which growth characteristics of several tumor cell lines in reconstituted basement membrane correlate with the dormant or proliferative behavior of the tumor cells at a metastatic secondary site in vivo.
Use of Artificial Sputum Medium to Test Antibiotic Efficacy Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Conditions More Relevant to the Cystic Fibrosis Lung
Current diagnostic antimicrobial susceptibility testing relies on the planktonic growth of isolates in nutrient rich, aerobic conditions. Here, we employ an alternative artificial sputum medium to study antimicrobial susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms under both aerobic and microaerophilic conditions more representative of the cystic fibrosis lung.
Unfixed frozen tissue samples embedded in Optimal Cutting Temperature medium (OCT) can be used to study natural distribution and glycosylation of secreted mucus. In this approach tissue processing is minimal and the natural presentation of glycolipids, mucins and glycan-epitopes is preserved. Tissue sections can be analyzed by immunohistochemistry using fluorescence or chromogenic detection.
Here we describe a protocol for the preparation of agar-embedded retinal slices that are suitable for electrophysiology and Ca2+ imaging. This method allows one to study ribbon-type synapses in retinal microcircuits using direct patch-clamp recordings of single presynaptic nerve terminals.
The platelet adhesion cascade takes place in the presence of shear flow, a factor not accounted for in conventional (static) well-plate assays. This article reports on a platelet-aggregation assay utilizing a microfluidic well-plate format to emulate physiological shear flow conditions.
Assessment of Mitochondrial Functions and Cell Viability in Renal Cells Overexpressing Protein Kinase C Isozymes
The effects of activation of protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes on mitochondrial functions associated with respiration and oxidative phosphorylation and on cell viability are described. The approach adapts adenoviral technique to selectively overexpress PKC isozymes in primary cell culture and a variety of assays to determine mitochondrial functions and energy status of the cell.
The Logic, Experimental Steps, and Potential of Heterologous Natural Product Biosynthesis Featuring the Complex Antibiotic Erythromycin A Produced Through E. coli
The heterologous biosynthesis of erythromycin A through E. coli includes the following experimental steps: 1) genetic transfer; 2) heterologous reconstitution; and 3) product analysis. Each step will be explained in the context of the motivation, potential, and challenges in producing therapeutic natural products using E. coli as a surrogate host.
Manufacturing and Using Piggy-back Multibarrel Electrodes for In vivo Pharmacological Manipulations of Neural Responses
Iontophoresis of neural agonists and antagonists during extracellular in vivo recordings is a powerful way to manipulate a neuron’s microenvironment. These manipulations can most easily be done via piggy-back multibarrel electrodes. Here we describe how to manufacture them and use them during auditory recordings.
We describe a method for analysis of the alteration of N-linked glycans through the early life of glycoproteins after their biosynthesis in mammalian cells. This is achieved by pulse-chase analysis of metabolically labeled glycans, enzymatic release from glycoproteins and examination by HPLC.
1Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Brain Research Institute, Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 3Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles
Photo-induced cross-linking of unmodified proteins (PICUP) allows characterization of oligomer size distribution in metastable protein mixtures. We demonstrate application of PICUP to three representative amyloidogenic peptides the 40- and 42-residue forms of amyloid β-protein, and calcitonin, and a control peptide growth-hormone releasing factor.
Details methods for high-resolution Ca2+ imaging of smooth muscle within isolated organs, including: preparation of the tissue, image acquisition and data analysis.
1Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, Children's Health Research Institute, and Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
Determining the cell cycle position of a population of cells, or understanding how signals affect proliferation, can be readily measured by flow cytometry using this protocol. We report a simple experimental approach to staining cells and quantifying their position in the cell cycle.
1Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame, 2Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, 3Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
We describe a method to conditionally knockdown the expression of a target protein during adult zebrafish fin regeneration. This technique involves micro-injecting and electroporating antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos into fin tissue, which allows testing the protein’s role in various stages of fin regeneration, including wound healing, blastema formation, and regenerative outgrowth.
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
Array Group, Assay Department, R&D Systems, Inc.
Proteome Profiler antibody arrays are a convenient and cost efficient way to screen for changes in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) phosphorylation without performing numerous immunoprecipitation (IP) Westerns. The ARY001 Human RTK array allows for the qualitative measurement of multiple RTKs in a single sample using chemiluminescence detection.
Correlating Behavioral Responses to fMRI Signals from Human Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Cognitive Processes Using Task Analysis
The goal of our research is to correlate behavior to brain activity. Accurate behavioral measures and imaging techniques allow us to elucidate brain-behavior relationships.
We describe a valuable diagnostic assay that could potentially be used to decide the withdrawal of immunosuppression after transplant without elevated risk of graft rejection. The assay uses the principles of Delayed Type Hypersensitivity and provides accurate assessment of both donor specific effector and regulatory immune responses mounted by recipients.
We provide a method for isolating and culturing pure populations of heart valve endothelial cells (VEC). VEC can be isolated from either side of the cusp or leaflet and immediately following, underlying interstitial cell (VIC) isolation is straightforward.
SC1 functions through dual inhibition of Ras- GAP and ERK1. We tested the function of SC1 in supporting mouse ES cell self-renewal in the absence of LIF and showed that SC1 is able to maintain self-renewal of mouse ES cell cultures.
This protocol details a method for the quantitative measure of peptide translocation into large unilamellar lipid vesicles. This method also provides information about the rate of membrane translocation and can be used to identify peptides that efficiently and spontaneously cross lipid bilayers.
Rapid and Efficient Generation of Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Multititre Plate Format
Protocols for neuronal differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells (hPSCs) are often time-consuming and require substantial cell culture skills. Here, we have adapted a small molecule-based differentiation procedure to a multititre plate format, allowing simple, rapid, and efficient generation of human neurons in a controlled manner.
Multiplex Detection of Bacteria in Complex Clinical and Environmental Samples using Oligonucleotide-coupled Fluorescent Microspheres
We describe a multiplex method for the detection of microorganisms within a sample using oligonucleotide-coupled fluorescent beads. Amplicon from all organisms within a sample is hybridized to a panel of probe-coupled beads. A Luminex or Bio-Plex instrument is used to query each bead for bead type and hybridization signal.
Here we describe a growth assay for Staphylococcus aureus using hemoglobin as the sole source of available nutrient iron. This assay establishes the role of bacterial factors involved in hemoglobin-derived iron acquisition.
Preparation of Oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 and Induction of Synaptic Plasticity Impairment on Hippocampal Slices
One feature of Alzheimer's Disease is the elevation of Aβ1-42 peptide. Here we provide a protocol for preparing synthetic Aβ1-42 oligomers, which impairs hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation, a cellular correlate of memory. This procedure is useful for investigating mechanisms of Aβ-induced pathology and drug screening.
Here we present the methodology for fast and high resolution fluorescent voltage-sensitive dye imaging of detailed activity of neurons in the crab stomatogastric ganglion.
Heterotopic and Orthotopic Tracheal Transplantation in Mice used as Models to Study the Development of Obliterative Airway Disease
This video shows and compares two experimental models to study the development of obliterative airway disease (OAD) in mice, the heterotopic and orthotopic tracheal transplantation model.
The IonFlux Automated Patch Clamp System provides high throughput, cost-effective ion channel screening for a wide range of electrophysiology applications. Fast compound exchange, low cost per data point, and convenient well plate formats make the system ideal for both ligand- and voltage-gated ion channel targets. The IonFlux HT provides an industry-leading 10,000 data points per day, while the IonFlux 16 provides true automated patch clamp performance for about the cost of a manual patch clamp rig.
1Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, CA, 2Department of Pathology, Center for Free Radical Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB, 3Seahorse Bioscience, North Billerica, MA
A description of a method for profiling mitochondrial function in cells is provided. The mitochondrial profile generated provides four parameters of mitochondrial function that can be measured in one experiment: basal respiration rate, ATP-linked respiration, proton leak, and reserve capacity.
1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 2Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3Shared Resource-DNA/RNA Peptide, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Several 2’-Fluoro RNA aptamers against HIV-1Ba-L gp120 with nanomole affinity are isolated from a RNA library by in vitro SELEX procedure. A new dual inhibitory function anti-gp120 aptamer-siRNA chimera is created and shows considerable promise for systemic anti-HIV therapy.
We use the patch-clamp technique to measure GABA-activated single-channel currents (GABAA channels, GABAA receptors) and the synaptic and tonic currents they generate in neurons. Activation of the channels decreases neuronal excitability in health and disease 1,2,3,4.
1Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition , The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University
Ice binding proteins (IBPs), also known as antifreeze proteins, inhibit ice growth and are a promising additive for use in the cryopreservation of tissues. The main tool used to investigate IBPs is the nanoliter osmometer. We developed a home-designed cooling stage mounted on an optical microscope and controlled using a custom-built LabVIEW routine. The nanoliter osmometer described here manipulated the sample temperature in an ultra-sensitive manner.