Reproducible Mouse Sciatic Nerve Crush and Subsequent Assessment of Regeneration by Whole Mount Muscle Analysis
In this report we describe a method to crush mouse sciatic nerve. This method uses readily available hemostatic forceps and easily and reproducibly produces complete sciatic nerve crush. In addition, we describe a method to prepare muscle whole mounts suitable for analysis of nerve regeneration after sciatic nerve crush.
1Laboratory for NeuroRegeneration and Repair, Department of Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, 2Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, University of Tuebingen
We present a method for chromatin immunoprecipitation from dorsal root ganglia tissue following axonal injury. The approach can be used to identify specific transcription factor binding sites and epigenetic modification of histone and DNA important for the regeneration of injured axons in both the peripheral and central nervous system.
We demonstrate a protocol for axoplasm isolation from adult rat sciatic nerve based on dissection of nerve fascicles and incubation in hypotonic medium to release myelin and lyse non-axonal structures, followed by extraction of the remaining axon-enriched material.
Due to the simplicity of surgery and the robust behavioural outcome, chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve is one of the pre-eminent animal models of neuropathic pain. Within 24 hrs following surgery, pain hypersensitivity is established and can be quantitatively measured using a von Frey aesthesiometer (mechanical test) and plantar analgesia meter (thermal test).
1The Lundbeck Foundation Research Center MIND, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
The Spared Nerve Injury animal model is described here as a mouse model of peripheral neuropathic pain following partial denervation of the sciatic nerve by lesioning the tibial and common peroneal nerve branches, leaving the remaining sural nerve intact. Behavioral modification resulting from mechanical allodynia is quantified by von Frey filaments.
Modeling Biological Membranes with Circuit Boards and Measuring Electrical Signals in Axons: Student Laboratory Exercises
This is a demonstration of how biological membranes can be understood using electrical models. We also demonstrate procedures for recording action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of the crayfish for student orientated laboratories.
Evaluation of Muscle Function of the Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle Ex vivo and Tibialis Anterior Muscle In situ in Mice
Changes in limb muscle contractile and passive mechanical properties are important biomarkers for muscle diseases. This manuscript describes physiological assays to measure these properties in the murine extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior muscles.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
Orthotopic Xenografting of Human Luciferase-Tagged Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Cells for in vivo Testing of Candidate Therapeutic Agents
1Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB, 2Department of Radiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB, 3Department of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham - UAB
A method for reliably grafting luciferase-tagged human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor cells into the sciatic nerve of immunodeficient mice is described. The use of bioluminescence imaging to demonstrate proper establishment of tumor grafts and criteria for random segregation of animals into study groups are also discussed.
Traumatic injury to the spinal cord disrupts communication with the brain. To restore lost connectivity we utilize a peripheral nerve graft to provide a substratum for regenerating fibers in combination with neurotrophic factors and matrix-modulating enzymes to remove inhibitory molecules to promote long distance growth.
Simultaneous Intracellular Recording of a Lumbar Motoneuron and the Force Produced by its Motor Unit in the Adult Mouse In vivo
This new method permits the simultaneous intracellular recording of a single adult mouse motoneuron and the measurement of the force produced by its muscle fibers. The combined investigation of the electrical and mechanical properties of motor units in normal and genetically modified animals is a breakthrough for the study of the neuromuscular system.
An Optimized Procedure for Fluorescence-activated Cell Sorting (FACS) Isolation of Autonomic Neural Progenitors from Visceral Organs of Fetal Mice
An optimized procedure to purify neural crest-derived neuronal progenitors from fetal mouse tissues is described. This method takes advantage of expression from fluorescent reporter alleles to isolate discrete populations by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The technique can be applied to isolate neuronal subpopulations throughout development or from adult tissues.
1Bioelectronics and Neuroscience (BENS) research group, University of Western Sydney, NSW Australia, 2Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, NSW Australia, 3School of Medicine, University of Siena, Italy
Sutures are usually needed to repair tissue during surgical procedures. However, their application can be problematic as they are invasive and may damage tissue. The fabrication and application methods of a novel tissue adhesive are here reported. This adhesive film is laser-activated and does not require the use of sutures.
This article intends to describe in stepwise fashion the commonly used in vitro assays used in studying Schwann cell-asrtocyte interactions.
This article presents a robust protocol for isolation and culture of neural crest stem cells from human hair follicles.
Working safely and humanely with research rodents requires a core competency in handling and restraint methods. This article will present the basic principles required to safely handle and effectively administer compounds to mice and rats.
Here we describe a Schwann cell (SC) migration assay in which SCs are able to develop along extending axons.
Electrode Fabrication and Implantation in Aplysia californica for Multi-channel Neural and Muscular Recordings in Intact, Freely Behaving Animals
A technique is described for implanting four in vivo electrodes to monitor the neuromuscular control of feeding behavior in Aplysia californica.
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.
An In Vitro Preparation for Eliciting and Recording Feeding Motor Programs with Physiological Movements in Aplysia californica
We describe a technique to extracellularly record and stimulate from nerves, muscles, and individual identified neurons in vitro while eliciting and observing different types of feeding behaviors in the feeding apparatus of Aplysia.
In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool.
Here we describe a microdissection technique followed by fluorescent dye injection into the acoustic ganglion of early chick embryos for selective tracing of auditory axon fibers in the nerve and hindbrain.
In order to study the changes of nociceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) in painful neuropathies (PN), we developed protocols that could directly examine three-dimensional morphological changes observed in nociceptive IENFs. Three-dimensional analysis of IENFs has the potential to evaluate the morphological changes of IENF in PN.
This abstract describes a novel method to assess the development of neurotoxicity in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. While conventional assessment methods are limited in their ability to detect early changes in nerve function, nerve excitability techniques provide early identification of patients at risk of severe neurotoxicity and insight into pathophysiology.
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.
Immunocytochemical identification of peripheral sensory nerve fiber subtypes (and detection of protein expression therein) are key to the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying peripheral sensation. Here we describe methods for preparation of peripheral/visceral tissue samples, such as skin and limb bones, for specific immunostaining of peripheral sensory nerve fibers.
We describe the fine dissection of the stomatogastric nervous system from the stomach of the American lobster (Homarus americanus).
Corneal Confocal Microscopy: A Novel Non-invasive Technique to Quantify Small Fibre Pathology in Peripheral Neuropathies
Corneal Confocal microscopy is a non-invasive clinical technique which may be used to quantify C fibre damage to diagnose and stratify patients with increasing neuropathic severity.
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.
Subcutaneous Administration of Muscarinic Antagonists and Triple-Immunostaining of the Levator Auris Longus Muscle in Mice
1Biology Department, Arcadia University, 2Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, 3Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine
We describe procedures for repeated administration of inhibitors of muscarinic signaling to the levator auris longus (LAL) muscle of young adult mice and for subsequent immunostaining of its neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in wholemounts. The LAL muscle has unique advantages for revealing in vivo pharmacological effects on NMJs.
In this video we perform electroretinogram recording, optic nerve recording, and intraretinal recording with the American horseshoe crab, Limulus Polyphemus. These electrophysiological paradigms can be used for investigating the neural basis of vision in a research or teaching lab.
A method to intranasally administer drugs to awake mice for the purpose of targeting the brain is described. This method allows for repeat dosing over long periods using intranasal administration of drug without anesthesia, and nose-to-brain delivery with minimal systemic exposure.
Whole-mount Immunohistochemical Analysis for Embryonic Limb Skin Vasculature: a Model System to Study Vascular Branching Morphogenesis in Embryo
We introduce a whole-mount immunohistochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy with multiple labelling for analyzing intricate vascular network formation in mouse embryonic limb skin.
The stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the Jonah crab (C. borealis) can be used for electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and cell culture studies. The STNS extraction is done in two parts: the gross and fine dissection.
We describe the gross dissection of the stomach of the American lobster (Homarus americanus).
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.
Fabrication of Micropatterned Hydrogels for Neural Culture Systems using Dynamic Mask Projection Photolithography
Simple techniques are described for the rapid production of microfabricated neural culture systems using a digital micromirror device for dynamic mask projection lithography on regular cell culture substrates. These culture systems may be more representative of natural biological architecture, and the techniques described could be adapted for numerous applications.
Imaging Analysis of Neuron to Glia Interaction in Microfluidic Culture Platform (MCP)-based Neuronal Axon and Glia Co-culture System
This study describes the procedures of setting up a novel neuronal axon and (astro)glia co-culture platform. In this co-culture system, manipulation of direct interaction between a single axon (and single glial cell) becomes feasible, allowing mechanistic analysis of the mutual neuron to glial signaling.
Drosophila melanogaster larvae provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms of axonal transport within larval segmental nerves. Using this procedure, 3rd instar larvae carrying various mutations can be compared to wild type larvae.
Calcium is a ubiquitous messenger in the nervous system, essential for triggering neurotransmitter release and changes in synaptic strength. Here we demonstrate a technique for loading Ca2+-indicators into Drosophila nerve terminals. We also demonstrate fabrication of the required apparatus and emphasize points critical for the technique's success.
In this video, we will demonstrate how to record electrical activity from identified single neurons in a whole brain preparation, which preserves complex neural circuits. We use transgenic fish in which gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are genetically tagged with a fluorescent protein for identification in the intact brain preparation.
This is a protocol describing how to isolate and culture primary sympathetic neurons from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of newborn rat pups.
This protocol discusses the live dissection of Drosophila larvae for the purpose of imaging the movement of GFP tagged axonal vesicles on microtubule tracks.
This article demonstrates how to conduct electrophysiological recordings of synaptic responses on the extensor muscle in the walking leg of a crayfish and how the nerve terminals are visualized to show the gross morphological differences of high- and low-output nerve terminals.
The primary purpose of this experiment is to understand how primary sensory neurons convey information of joint movements and positions as proprioceptive information for an animal. An additional objective of this report is present the anatomy of the preparation by dissection and viewing of neurons under a dissecting microscope.
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.
1Department of Neurology and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, 2Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 3Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Neurology and the Gene Therapy Center , University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
We describe a minimally-invasive and painless method to measure canine hindlimb muscle strength and muscle response to repeated eccentric contractions.
Here we describe electrophysiological methods for measuring synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larva. Evoked release is initiated artificially by stimulating the motor neuron axons, and transmission through the NMJ can be measured by the postsynaptic response evoked in the muscle.
There are many available options for management of the patient with trigeminal neuralgia. Microvascular decompression, while the most invasive of all options, is also the most effective at achieving long term remission of symptoms. Video instruction on how to maximize efficacy and minimize complications with this procedure is described.
The opener muscle of the crayfish leg is presented for its historical importance and experimental versatility in muscle phenotype, synaptic physiology and plasticity.