Traditionally the vertical slice and the whole-mount preparation of the retina have been used to study the function of retinal circuits. Here, we describe the novel slicing method to preserve the dendritic morphology of retinal neurons intact.
An Isolated Retinal Preparation to Record Light Response from Genetically Labeled Retinal Ganglion Cells
This article provides a description of how to dissect and record from the isolated retinal preparation in mouse. In particular, we describe how to record light responses from a fluorescently labeled ganglion cell population and subsequently identify and analyze its morphology.
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.
The non-human primate is an important translational species for our understanding of development and aging. The anatomical organization of the primate retina may provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans.
1Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Here we present two techniques for manipulating gene expression in murine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) by in utero and ex vivo electroporation. These techniques enable one to examine how alterations in gene expression affect RGC development, axon guidance, and functional properties.
The dissection technique illustrates evisceration of the vitreous, retina, and lens from the mouse eye, separation by centrifugation, and characterization with protein assays.
The Drosophila retina is a crystal-like lattice composed of a small number of cell types that are generated in a stereotyped manner 1. Its amenability to sophisticated genetic analysis allows the study of complex developmental programs. This protocol describes dissections and immunohistochemistry of retinas at three discrete developmental stages, with a focus on photoreceptor differentiation.
This protocol describes a simple and inexpensive way to quantify the activity of cis-regulatory elements (i.e., enhancer/promoters) in living mouse retinas via explant electroporation. DNA preparation, retinal dissection, electroporation, retinal explant culture, and post-fixation analysis and quantification are described.
This article describes an approach to microdissect zebrafish retinas with and without retinal pigment epithelium attached, from one to three days postfertilization embryos.
Here we describe a procedure for generating dark-adapted slices of the mouse retina for electrophysiological recordings.
1Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 4Center for High-Throughput Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A method for the incorporation of plasmid DNA into murine retinal cells for the purpose of performing either gain- or loss of function studies in vivo is presented. This method capitalizes on the transient increase in permeability of cell plasma membranes induced by the application of an external electrical field.
We describe a relatively simple method of transretinal electroretinogram (ERG) recordings for obtaining rod and cone photoresponses from intact mouse retina. This approach takes advantage of the block of synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to isolate their light responses and record them using field electrodes placed across the isolated flat-mounted retina.
A method is described for the preparation of single living photoreceptor cells from different vertebrate species for fluorescence imaging. The method can be used to image the fluorescence of endogenous fluorophores, such as NADH or vitamin A, or that of exogenously added fluorescent dyes sensitive to Ca2+ or other factors.
Cut-loading: A Useful Tool for Examining the Extent of Gap Junction Tracer Coupling Between Retinal Neurons
An easy and convenient method to determine the extent of gap junction tracer coupling between retinal neurons is described. This technique enables one to investigate the function of the electrical synapses between neurons in the intact retina under different illumination conditions and at different times of the day and night.
The limiting factor in the use of the adult Drosophila eye to study neurodegeneration and cell biology is the difficult imaging of intracellular processes. We describe the dissection of single ommatidia to generate a bona-fide primary neuronal cell culture, which can be subject to drug treatment and advanced imaging.
This article depicts the recording of individual cells from fluorescently tagged neuronal populations in the intact mouse retina. By using two-photon infrared excitation transgenetically labeled cells were targeted for patch-clamp recording to study their light responses, receptive field properties, and morphology.
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.
The overall goal of this video is to show how to perform targeted retinal injection and in ovo electroporation of DNA/RNA constructs into the chick embryonic retina at the Hamburger and Hamilton stage 22-23, which is about embryonic day 4 (E4). This technique is very useful to study gene expression, gene regulation, and morphological change in developing chick retina.
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 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.
We will show how to record flash responses from single mouse cones using a suction electrode.
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.
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.
This video shows an effective technique for differentiating and dissecting the various semi-transparent structures of the human vitreous body in post mortem eyes.
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.
This video describes the manipulation of cultured neurons using laser tweezers in vitro.
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.
We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
This video shows the process of whole-cell voltage clamp recordings in the retinal slice of the aquatic tiger salamander. We demonstrate the preparation of the slice as well as how to perform patch clamp recordings during visual stimulation of the retina.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, 4Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
Photoacoustic ophthalmology (PAOM), an optical-absorption-based imaging modality, provides the complementary evaluation of the retina to the currently available ophthalmic imaging technologies. We report the using of PAOM integrated with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for simultaneous multimodal retinal imaging in rats.
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.
The development of the multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) is an important advance in the diagnosis and characterization of retinopathy. Multifocal electroretinograms are a mathematical average of an approximation of a b-wave. Software programs can derive ERGs from more than a hundred retinal areas in a few minutes per eye. Scotomas and retinal dysfunction can be mapped and quantified.
In this video, we demonstrate how to label and visualize single synaptic vesicle exocytosis and trafficking in goldfish retinal bipolar cells using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy.
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.
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.
This protocol describes three Drosophila preparations: 1) adult brain dissection, 2) adult retina dissection and 3) developing eye disc- brain complexes dissection. Emphasis is laid on special preparation techniques and conditions for live imaging, although all preparations can be used for fixed tissue immunohistochemistry.
1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, 2Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 3School of Dentistry, UCLA, 4Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
The dissection technique illustrates enucleation of the mouse eye for tissue fixation to perform phenotyping in high-throughput screens.
Lens development involves interactions with other tissues. Several zebrafish eye mutants are characterized by an abnormally small lens size. Here we demonstrate a lens transplantation experiment to determine whether this phenotype is due to intrinsic causes or defective interactions with tissues that surround the lens.
1Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University, 2Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 3Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 4Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa
This surgical technique illustrates the injection of gene therapy vectors and stem cells into the subretinal space of the mouse eye.
Xenopus laevis provides an ideal model system for studying cell fate specification and physiological function of individual retinal cells in primary cell culture. Here we present a technique for dissecting retinal tissues and generating primary cell cultures that are imaged for calcium activity and analyzed by in situ hybridization.
This video demonstrates how to build a Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) system that can easily be used to monitor blood flow.
1Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Anatomy, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 2Research Centre of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 3State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
This video demonstrates three types of morphometric analyses of the retina, which include measuring the inner nuclear layer thickness, quantifying the number of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and measuring the sizes of RGCs. The technique can offer a simple but scientific platform for morphometric analyses.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
In utero electroporation allows for rapid gene delivery in a spatially- and temporally-controlled manner in the developing central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe a highly adaptable in utero electroporation protocol that can be used to deliver expression constructs into multiple embryonic CNS domains, including the telencephalon, diencephalon and retina.
We provide a reproducible method for culturing confluent monolayers of human fetal retinal pigment epithelial cells (hfRPE) cells that exhibit morphology, physiology, polarity, and protein and gene expression patterns of adult native tissue. This work has been extended to an animal model of several eye diseases.
A method of tracing synaptically connected neurons is described. We use TVA specificity of an upstream cell to probe whether a cell population of interest receives synaptic input from genetically defined cell types.
Intravitreous injection is a widely used technique in visual sciences research for ocular diseases or as direct application of local treatment. This video demonstrated a protocol for intravitreous injection using a 1ml syringe with glass pipette. Useful tips about avoiding massive bleeding and lens damage are given.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
This September in JoVE, researchers from the School of Medicine at the Free University of Berlin demonstrate a novel method for studying how stroke patients compensate for visual field defects. To do this, our authors make use of a driving simulator complete with brakes, a steering wheel, and turn signals. Using driving simulation software and sophisticated eye tracking, researchers can compare the gaze behavior of stroke patients as they navigate through virtual driving courses with varying degrees of complexity. Though posterior cerebral artery infarction can lead to similar visual deficits in patients, some are able to navigate through the driving courses by developing compensatory eye movements, while others crash into dangerous obstacles, like wild boars. Through the analysis of compensatory gaze behavior employed by patients, our authors see great potential for using driving simulation as a tool to rehabilitate stroke patients trying to overcome the blind spots in their visual fields.
Retrograde Labeling of Retinal Ganglion Cells by Application of Fluoro-Gold on the Surface of Superior Colliculus
This video describes the method of retrograde labeling of RGC by applying fluoro-gold (FG) on the surface of superior colliculus (SC). Technique involves drilling the skull, aspirating the cortex, and applying gelatin sponge over entire dorsal surface of SC.
Transplantation of GFP-expressing Blastomeres for Live Imaging of Retinal and Brain Development in Chimeric Zebrafish Embryos
We demonstrate a protocol to generate chimeric zebrafish embryos for live imaging cellular behavior during embryogenesis.