SDD-AGE is a useful technique for the detection and characterization of amyloid-like polymers in cells. Here we demonstrate an adaptation that makes this technique amenable to large-scale applications.
We describe a technique to maintain oxygenation and ventilation using an endotracheal tube inserted nasally to the level of the naso-pharynx while sealing the mouth and nares for successful positive pressure ventilation.
Isometric and Eccentric Force Generation Assessment of Skeletal Muscles Isolated from Murine Models of Muscular Dystrophies
1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2Department of Physiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Muscle function measurements contribute to the evaluation of potential therapeutics for muscle pathology, as well as to the determination of mechanisms underlying physiology of this tissue. We will demonstrate the preparation of the extensor digitorum longus and diaphragm muscles for functional testing. Protocols for isometric and eccentric contractions will be shown, as well as differences in results between dystrophic muscles, representing a pathological state, and wildtype muscles.
Portable Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL): Investigating Language Comprehension in Typically Developing Toddlers and Young Children with Autism
A reliable home-based way to assess the language comprehension of very young typically developing children, as well as those with autism, is described. The method analyzes children's eye gaze while viewing side-by-side images but hearing an audio that matches only one image. Stimuli are designed with young participants in mind.
How to Measure Cortical Folding from MR Images: a Step-by-Step Tutorial to Compute Local Gyrification Index
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva School of Medicine, 2Signal Processing Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 3Department of Radiology, University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, 4Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital
Measuring gyrification (cortical folding) at any age represents a window into early brain development. Hence, we previously developed an algorithm to measure local gyrification at thousands of points over the hemisphere1. In this paper, we detail the computation of this local gyrification index.
Isolation of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Rodent Embryos for use with Dissected Cerebral Cortical Explants
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
The ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the neuroepithelial and cerebral cortical progenitor cells during early brain development in the embryo. Here we describe the method developed to isolate ventricular CSF from rodent embryos of different ages in order to investigate its biological function. In addition, we demonstrate our cerebral cortical explant dissection and culture technique that allows for explant growth with minimal volumes of culture medium or CSF.
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.
Tilt Testing with Combined Lower Body Negative Pressure: a "Gold Standard" for Measuring Orthostatic Tolerance
We describe a "gold standard" for evaluating orthostatic tolerance (OT) using tilt testing with combined lower body negative pressure (LBNP). This can be combined with non-invasive evaluations of cardiovascular reflex control. Normal and abnormal responses are defined.
Slice shear force is a reference method for beef texture analysis. Using an angle adjustable cutting box could increase its accuracy for research purposes. The results from different locations within the longissimus muscle show a high correlation with Warner-Bratzler shear force methodology and high potential adaptability for different muscles.
Here we present a protocol for performing solid plate-based dietary restriction in C. elegans with killed bacteria.
Chronological aging in yeast refers to the loss of cell viability associated with time in stationary phase. Here we describe a high-throughput method for quantitatively determining yeast chronological life span.
Quantitative Imaging of Lineage-specific Toll-like Receptor-mediated Signaling in Monocytes and Dendritic Cells from Small Samples of Human Blood
We describe use of ImageStream technology (www.amnis.com), which combines quantitative flow cytometry with simultaneous high-resolution digital imaging, to quantify cellular mechanisms of primary immune cells from well-defined patient cohorts. Our studies provide a blueprint for translational investigations to quantify lineage specific cellular responses in small samples from subject cohorts.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
The organoptypic hippocampal slice culture model is an in vitro model used to examine neuronal injury in a variety of paradigms. In this article, we describe the methods for generating slice cultures and quantifying neuronal injury.
Examining the Characteristics of Episodic Memory using Event-related Potentials in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
The methodology for collecting high-density event-related potential data while patients with Alzheimer's disease perform a recognition memory task is reviewed. This protocol will include subject preparation, quality assurance, data acquisition, and data analysis.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring life span of nematodes maintained on solid media with UV-killed bacterial food.
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.
Intraoperative Detection of Subtle Endometriosis: A Novel Paradigm for Detection and Treatment of Pelvic Pain Associated with the Loss of Peritoneal Integrity
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Greenville Hospital System, 2Department of Pathology, Duke University Health System, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Duke University
Loss of peritoneal integrity provides a new paradigm to understand and treat chronic pelvic pain in women with mild forms of endometriosis and can be easily detected using intraoperative instillation of dye at the time of laparoscopy.
An accurate, short, sophisticated and cheap method is described that assesses telomere length in multiple tissues and species using qRT-PCR. In addition, we will describe a simple assay to assess telomerase activity as a complementary backbone test for telomere length.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring the replicative life span of yeast mother cells.
In this protocol we present a method to measure Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan in 96 well microtiter plates.
1Program in Molecular Medicine and Department of Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2Departments of Surgery and Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, 3Departments of Surgery and Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital
A rapid way to screen for melanoma modifiers using a zebrafish autochthonous tumor model is presented. It takes advantage of the miniCoopR vector which allows for expression of candidate melanoma genes in melanocytes. A method to obtain melanoma-free survival curves, an invasion assay, a protocol for antibody staining of scale melanocytes and a melanoma transplantation assay are described.
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.
Visualization of Mitochondrial Respiratory Function using Cytochrome C Oxidase / Succinate Dehydrogenase (COX/SDH) Double-labeling Histochemistry
The cytochrome c oxidase/sodium dehydrogenase (COX/SDH) double-labeling method allows for direct visualization of mitochondrial respiratory enzyme deficiencies in fresh-frozen tissue sections. This is a straightforward histochemical technique and is useful in investigating mitochondrial diseases, aging, and aging-related disorders.
We provide a reproducible method to induce type 1 diabetes (T1D) in mice within two weeks by the adoptive transfer of islet antigen-specific, primary CD4+ T cells.
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.
1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Muscle Biology Research Group, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 3Pharmacology division, College of Pharmacy, DHLRI, Ohio State University
We describe a method to directly measure muscle force, muscle power, contractile kinetics and fatigability of isolated skeletal muscles in an in vitro system using field stimulation. Valuable information on Ca2+ handling properties and contractile machinery of the muscle can be obtained using different stimulating protocols.
The intensely studied nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans can be transgenically engineered to express the human β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Induced expression of Aβ in C. elegans muscle leads to a rapid, reproducible paralysis phenotype that can be used to monitor treatments that modulate Aβ toxicity.
1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Lab. PALM, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 3Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4ISS, INC.
We combined frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy measures of cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation with diffuse correlation spectroscopy measures of cerebral blood flow index to estimate an index of oxygen metabolism. We tested the utility of this measure as a bedside screening tool to evaluate the health and development of the newborn brain.
Determination of gastric emptying with a non-invasive [13C]-octanoic acid breath test for tracking gastroparesis in female NOD LtJ mice.
Here we describe a set of DNA mutation assays that can be combined with the yeast chronological life span model to study the genes/pathways that regulate or contribute to genomic DNA instability during aging.
Using quantitative PCR, we demonstrate how the well-established chick CAM model can be used to quantitatively analyze the metastasis of human tumor cells to distant organs.
Protocols for Vaginal Inoculation and Sample Collection in the Experimental Mouse Model of Candida vaginitis
Key techniques to be used in the evaluation of Candida vaginitis in an experimental animal model are described. The methods will allow rapid collection of vaginal specimens and lymphocytes from draining lumbar lymph nodes. These techniques could give rise to mouse models of other diseases in the female lower genital tract.
Obliterative bronchiolitis is the key impediment to the long-term survival of lung transplant recipients and the lack of a robust preclinical model precludes examining obliterative bronchiolitis immunopathogenesis. Unlike other solid organ transplants, vascularized mouse lung transplantation has only recently been developed. Here we show our independently developed obliterative bronchiolitis model after murine orthotopic single-lung transplantation.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
Genetic studies in yeast can be employed to investigate the molecular and cellular functions of human genes in cellular DNA metabolism. Methods are described for the genetic characterization of the human WRN gene product defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome in functionally conserved pathways using yeast as a tractable model system.
1Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 2Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, 3Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 4Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 5California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 6Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles
The Lashley III maze is a route-learning task that does not rely on aversive stimuli or visual cues. It is thus a highly attractive option for evaluating learning and memory, especially in aging mice or otherwise where stress is a consideration.
SDS-PAGE/Immunoblot Detection of Aβ Multimers in Human Cortical Tissue Homogenates using Antigen-Epitope Retrieval
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 2Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tsukuba University, 3Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University
We describe a technique for the preparation of clarified human cortical homogenates, protein separation by SDS-PAGE, antigen retrieval and immunoblotting with an antibody to the Aβ peptide. Using this protocol, we consistently detect monomeric and multimeric Aβ in cortical tissue from humans with Alzheimer's pathology.
This article describes a protocol for isolation and maintenance of primary fibroblast cultures from skin and lung tissue of wild rodents.
Standardized, comprehensive and fully quantitative testing of autonomic functions is described. The autonomic tests consist of evaluation of all three major autonomic domains including cardiovagal, adrenergic and sudomotor. The severity and distribution of dysautonomia is quantitated using Composite Autonomic Severity Scores.
Dual Somatic Recordings from Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons Identified by Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in Hypothalamic Slices
Activity in neuronal systems often requires synchronous action potential discharges from neurons within a specific population. For example, pulses of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) likely require coordinated activity between GnRH neurons. We present our methodological approach for reliably obtaining simultaneous electrophysiological recordings from the diffusely distributed GnRH neurons.
1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 4Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 5Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 6Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 7Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
We present a protocol that allows investigation of the neural correlates of deliberate and automatic emotion regulation, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This protocol can be used in healthy participants, both young and older, as well as in clinical patients.
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.
The easiness of maintaining and propagating the nematode C. elegans make it a nice model organism to work with. The possibility of synchronizing worms allows the work with a significant amount of subjects at the same developmental stage, what facilitates the study of one particular process in many animals.
Performing Vaginal Lavage, Crystal Violet Staining, and Vaginal Cytological Evaluation for Mouse Estrous Cycle Staging Identification
1Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Neural Regeneration Laboratory and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, 2Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, 3CIHR Program in Neurodegenerative Lipidomics, University of Ottawa, 4Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism
Here, we describe how to identify the stage of the murine reproductive (proestrus, estrus, metestrus, or diestrus) by simple, non-invasive collection and cytological assessment of vaginal smear samples. We further describe how vaginal cytology reflects circulating hormonal levels underlying transition through the murine reproductive cycle.
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.
Using Quantitative Real-time PCR to Determine Donor Cell Engraftment in a Competitive Murine Bone Marrow Transplantation Model
Determining donor cell engraftment presents a challenge in mouse bone marrow transplant models that lack well-defined phenotypical markers. We described a methodology to quantify male donor cell engraftment in female transplant recipient mice. This method can be used in all mouse strains for the study of HSC functions.