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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Optokinetic response has been widely used to assess the visual functions of larval zebrafish. Nevertheless, the standard protocol for larval fish is not yet readily applicable in adults1-5. Here, we introduce how to measure the OKR of adult zebrafish using a new protocol which is established in our lab.
This article presents a robust protocol for isolation and culture of neural crest stem cells from human hair follicles.
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.
1Temple University, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, 2Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, 3Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 4Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine
An in vivo imaging protocol to monitor primary sensory axons following dorsal root crush is described. The procedures utilize wide-field fluorescence microscopy and thy1-YFP transgenic mice, and permit repeated imaging of axon regeneration over 4 cm in the PNS and axon interactions with the interface of the CNS.
1Department of Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, 2Department of Gene and Protein Biomarkers, GenProMarkers, Inc.
We describe a rat model of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that reveals the persistent alterations in neuroendocrine function and the delayed long-term, exaggerated fear response, characteristic of PTSD patients. The animal model and methods described here are useful for correlating biomarkers in brain nuclei, which are mechanistic but cannot be measured in patients, with biomarkers in peripheral white blood cells, which can.
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.
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 Schwann cell (SC) migration assay in which SCs are able to develop along extending axons.
Intraspinal Cell Transplantation for Targeting Cervical Ventral Horn in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
Neural precursor transplantation is a promising strategy for protecting and/or replacing lost/dysfunctional cervical phrenic motor neurons in spinal cord injury (SCI) and the motor neuron disorder, amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS). We provide a protocol for cell delivery to cervical spinal cord ventral horn in rodent models of ALS and SCI.
Pseudofracture, a reproducible murine model of sterile musculoskeletal trauma, allows for evaluation of late term post-traumatic immune responses. This article describes the procedural execution of the model step by step, including the potential for experimental model combinations to permit study of multiple trauma.
The present method allows reproducible cryostat sectioning of small, difficult-to-manage, tissue pieces, such as biopsies and brain slices. We utilize a simple aluminum freezing stage to facilitate handling of tissue and a standard cryostat to routinely produce 5-10 micron serial sections from 400 micron thick brain slices.
Meatoplasty, surgical management of meatal stenosis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article describes a protocol used to study the homing of hematopoietic cells to their niches in the bone marrow.
1Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, The University of Chicago, 2Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition, The University of Chicago, 3Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago
We demonstrate intraperitoneal injection into adult zebrafish. We use a 10 μl NanoFil microsyringe controlled by a Micro4 controller and UltraMicroPump III. This demonstration includes the use of cold water as an anesthetic.
Dopamine replacement pharmacotherapy using L-DOPA is the most commonly used symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but is accompanied by side effects including involuntary abnormal movements, termed dyskinesia 1. Here, a protocol for MALDI imaging mass spectrometry is presented that detects changes in rat brain neuropeptide levels related to dyskinesia.
A reliable and repeatable way to produce a cervical unilateral spinal cord injury using the Infinite Horizon impactor is described. The method takes advantage of a custom designed frame and clamp to stabilize the spine. The standardized procedure and biomechanical injury parameters result in sufficient and sustained injuries.
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.
This procedure allows the purification of DNA fragments with high yield.
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.
1Norton Neuroscience Institute, Norton Healthcare, 2Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group, Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Department of Neurological Surgery and Goodman and Campbell Brain and Spine, Medical Neuroscience Graduate Program, and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine
A novel technique to create a reproducible in vivo model of cervical spinal cord laceration injury in the mouse is described. This technique is based on spine stabilization by fixation of the cervical facets and laceration of the spinal cord using an oscillating blade with an accuracy of ±0.01 mm.
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.
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.
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.
This is a high-throughput sperm cryopreservation protocol for zebrafish. Sperm cryopreserved using this protocol has an average of 25% fertility in subsequent vitro fertilization and is stable over many years.
Quantifying Glomerular Permeability of Fluorescent Macromolecules Using 2-Photon Microscopy in Munich Wistar Rats
A technique utilizing high resolution intavital 2-photon microscopy to directly visualize and quantify gloemrular filtration in surface glomeruli. This method allows for direct determination of permeability characteristics of macromolecules in both normal and diseased states.
We report an efficient and simple method to isolate embryos at early stages of development from Arabidopsis thaliana seeds. Up to 40 embryos can be isolated in 1 hr to 4 hr, depending on the downstream application. The procedure is suitable for transcriptome, DNA methylation, reporter gene expression, immunostaining and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses.
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.
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.
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.