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.
1Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2Neuroscience Graduate Group, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
A multi-faceted approach to investigating functional changes to hippocampal circuitry is explained. Electrophysiological techniques are described along with the injury protocol, behavioral testing and regional dissection method. The combination of these techniques can be applied in similar fashion for other brain regions and scientific questions.
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.
Preparation of Parasagittal Slices for the Investigation of Dorsal-ventral Organization of the Rodent Medial Entorhinal Cortex
We describe procedures for preparation and electrophysiological recording from brain slices that maintain the dorsal-ventral axis of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC). Because neural encoding of location follows a dorsal-ventral organization within the MEC, these procedures facilitate investigation of cellular mechanisms important for navigation and memory.
Visualization and Genetic Manipulation of Dendrites and Spines in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus using In utero Electroporation
1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, 2Confocal and Image Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Medical Research, 3Physiopathologie de la plasticité neuronale, Neurocentre Magendie, Université de Bordeaux
This article describes in detail a protocol to electroporate in utero the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus at E14.5 in mice. We also show that this is a valuable method to study dendrites and spines in these two cerebral regions.
Numerous recent studies have identified mutations in synaptic proteins associated with brain pathologies. Primary cultured cortical neurons offer great flexibility in examining the effects of these disease-associated proteins on dendritic spine morphology and motility.
Dual Electrophysiological Recordings of Synaptically-evoked Astroglial and Neuronal Responses in Acute Hippocampal Slices
The preparation of acute brain slices from isolated hippocampi, as well as the simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons in stratum radiatum during stimulation of schaffer collaterals is described. The pharmacological isolation of astroglial potassium and glutamate transporter currents is demonstrated.
We describe a process using laser-capture microdissection to isolate and extract RNA from a homogeneous cell population, pyramidal neurons, in layer III of the superior temporal gyrus in postmortem human brains. We subsequently linearly amplify (T7-based) mRNA, and hybridize the sample to the Affymetrix human X3P microarray.
Vibrodissociation of Neurons from Rodent Brain Slices to Study Synaptic Transmission and Image Presynaptic Terminals
1Section on Synaptic Pharmacology/Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2Department of Electronics Engineering, Ewha Womans University, 3Section on Transmitter Signaling/Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
This report demonstrates a technique for mechanical isolation of individual viable neurons retaining attached presynaptic boutons. Vibrodissociated neurons have the advantages of rapid production, excellent pharmacological control and improved space-clamp without influence from neighboring cells. This method can be used for imaging of synaptic elements and patch-clamp recording.
A method for the isolation of single retinal cells and subsequent amplification of their cDNAs is described. Single-cell transcriptomics reveals the degree of cellular heterogeneity present in a tissue and uncovers new marker genes for rare cell populations. The accompanying protocol can be adjusted to suit many different cell types.
1School of Medical Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, 2Translational Neuroscience Facility and Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAVs) vectors are becoming increasingly valuable for in vivo studies in animals. We describe how rAAVs can be produced in the laboratory and how these vectors can be titered to give an accurate reading of the number of infectious particles produced.
This paper introduces an approach of combining laser scanning photostimulation with whole cell recordings in transgenic mice expressing GFP in limited inhibitory neuron populations. The technique allows for extensive mapping and quantitative analysis of local synaptic circuits of specific inhibitory cortical neurons.
Laser Capture Microdissection of Enriched Populations of Neurons or Single Neurons for Gene Expression Analysis After Traumatic Brain Injury
We describe how to use laser capture microdissection (LCM) to obtain enriched populations of hippocampal neurons or single neurons from frozen sections of the injured rat brain for subsequent gene expression analysis using quantitative real time PCR and/or whole-genome microarrays.
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.
We describe how to measure near membrane and global intracellular calcium dynamics in cultured astrocytes using total internal reflection and epifluorescence microscopy.
Multiphoton microscopy of whole mouse organs is possible by optically clearing the organ before imaging, but not all protocols preserve the fluorescent signal of fluorescent proteins. Using an optical clearing method with ethanol-based dehydration and benzyl alcohol:benzyl benzoate clearing, we show high-resolution multiphoton images of whole mouse brain expressing YFP.
We use a closed-loop fly-machine interface to investigate general principles in neuronal control.
The stiffness of the extracellular matrix strongly influences multiple behaviors of adherent cells. Matrix stiffness varies spatially throughout a tissue, and undergoes modification in various disease conditions. Here we develop methods to characterize spatial variations in stiffness in normal and fibrotic mouse lung tissue using atomic force microscopy microindentation.
A minimally invasive protocol to stabilize the mouse spinal column and perform repetitive in vivo spinal cord imaging using two-photon microscopy is described. This method combines a spinal stabilization device and an anesthetic regimen to minimize respiratory-induced movements and produce raw imaging data that require no alignment or other post-processing.
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.
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.
Voltage-sensitive Dye Recording from Axons, Dendrites and Dendritic Spines of Individual Neurons in Brain Slices
An imaging technique for monitoring of membrane potential changes with sub-micrometer spatial and sub-millisecond temporal resolution is described. The technique, based on laser excitation of voltage-sensitive dyes, allows measurements of signals in axons and axon collaterals, terminal dendritic branches, and individual dendritic spines.
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.
Right-angle microprisms inserted into the mouse neocortex allows for deep imaging of multiple cortical layers with a viewpoint typically found in slice. One-millimeter microprisms offer a wide field-of-view (~900 μm) and spatial resolutions sufficient to resolve dendritic spines. We demonstrate layer V neuronal imaging and neocortical vascular imaging using microprisms.
In mice, the ability to detect pheromones is principally mediated by the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Here, an acute tissue slice preparation of VNO for performing calcium imaging is described. This physiological approach allows observations of subpopulations and/or individual neurons in a living tissue and is convenient for receptor-ligand identification.
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.
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.
This video and protocol demonstrate how to implant a glass-covered cranial window in rodents. These preparations can be used for chronic in vivo two-photon imaging of the neocortex over time scales of months. It may also be used for other types of imaging, including optical intrinsic signal imaging.
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.
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology
1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2Centro de Investigaciones en Optica A. C., 3Department of Biology and Neurosciences Institute, The University of Texas at San Antonio
We synthesized star shaped gold nanostars using a silver seed mediated growth method. The diameter of the nanostars ranges from 200 to 300 nm and the number of tips vary from 7 to 10. The nanoparticles have a broad surface plasmon resonance mode centered in the near infrared.
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.
Simultaneous Electroencephalography, Real-time Measurement of Lactate Concentration and Optogenetic Manipulation of Neuronal Activity in the Rodent Cerebral Cortex
A procedure is described for manipulating the activity of cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons optogenetically while the electroencephalogram, electromyogram, and cerebral lactate concentration are monitored. Experimental recordings are performed on cable-tethered mice while they undergo spontaneous sleep/wake cycles. Optogenetic equipment is assembled in our laboratory; recording equipment is commercially available.
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.
1Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 2Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 3Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 4Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Group, Horizontal Medical Research Organization, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 5Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
A dissection technique for removal of the dentate gyrus from adult mouse under a stereomicroscope was demonstrated in this video-recorded protocol.
Generation of T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells gives an alternative approach of using embryonic stem cells for T cell-based immunotherapy. The method shows that by utilizing either in vitro or in vivo induction system, iPS cells are able to differentiate into both conventional and antigen-specific T lymphocytes.
We describe two methods for conditional trans-complementation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly and the completion of the full viral life cycle, which rely on heterokaryon formation. These techniques are suitable to screen for cell lines that express dominant restriction factors, which preclude production of infectious HCV progeny.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring the replicative life span of yeast mother cells.
In this video we present the ex vivo generation and expansion of human CD40-activated B cells (CD40-B) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by stimulation with CD40 ligand and interleukin-4.
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 procedure shows how to use the Gene Pulser MXcell electroporation system to rapidly and easily identify the best electroporation conditions for mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) or other primary cells. Considerations for troubleshooting are also discussed in the associated video.
Here we describe a method to efficiently expand and purify large numbers of human NK cells and assess their function.
mStrawberry OP9 cells allow for complete evaluation of all ES-derived progeny from co-culture.
A rapid, robust way of isolating viable adult epithelial stem cells from human skin is described. The method utilizes enzymatic digestion of skin collagen matrix , followed by plucking of hair follicles and isolation of single cell suspensions or tissue fragments for cell culture.
An ex vivo protocol to generate mature human red blood cells from hematopoietic stem/progenitors is described. Additionally we describe an efficient lentiviral-delivery method to knockdown the transcription factor TAL1 in primary erythroid cells. The efficiency of lentivirus mediated gene delivery is demonstrated using GFP expressing viruses.
Determining Optimal Cytotoxic Activity of Human Her2neu Specific CD8 T cells by Comparing the Cr51 Release Assay to the xCELLigence System
The chromium release assay, a common assay for detecting cytotoxic T cell activity, has several limitations. Using antigen-specific CD8 T cells and the human breast cancer tumor line, SKBR3, in the present article, an impedance-based approach was examined for the capability of detecting cell killing.
Identification and Isolation of Slow-Dividing Cells in Human Glioblastoma Using Carboxy Fluorescein Succinimidyl Ester (CFSE)
This video protocol demonstrates the application of the fluorescent dye carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) for the identification and separation of different sub-populations of cells in human glioblastoma based on frequency of cell division.
This protocol describes the isolation, enrichment, and maintenance of medulloblastoma tumor stem cells derived from mutant mice with ectopic Sonic hedgehog pathway activity.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in a number of malignancies. In this protocol we describe a flow cytometric method utilizing aldehyde dehydrogenase activity and CD44 and CD24 expression to isolate CSCs from human pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts. These viable cells can then be used in functional and analytical studies.
The Scepter Cell Counter is a handheld automated device that can be used to count cells, monitor cell diameter and volume, and be used to check the health and quality of cellular populations from one culture to the next.