1Molecular Biology of Neural Development, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal, 2Division of Experimental Medicine and Program in Neuroengineering, McGill University, 3Program in Neuroengineering, McGill University, 4Montreal Neurological Institute, 5Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, 6Department of Biology, McGill University, 7Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal - University of Montreal
This video demonstrates a method to dissect and culture commissural neurons from E13 rat dorsal spinal cord. Dissociated commissural neurons are useful to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of axon growth and guidance.
This protocol describes the isolation, enrichment, and maintenance of medulloblastoma tumor stem cells derived from mutant mice with ectopic Sonic hedgehog pathway activity.
Here we develop the tools necessary for ex vivo live imaging to trace single cell divisions in the mouse E8.5 neuroepithelium
This protocol describes the isolation and dissociation of mouse medulloblastoma tissue, and subsequent allografting of the tumor cells into immunocompromised recipient mice in order to initiate secondary medulloblastoma.
This article describes a tissue transplantation technique that was designed to test the signaling and patterning properties of surface cephalic ectoderm during craniofacial development.
In this report we describe a method for the isolation and culture of the progenitor cell niche from the embryonic mouse kidney that can be used to study signaling pathways regulating stem/progenitor cells of the developing kidney. These cultured cells are highly accessible to small molecule and recombinant protein treatment, and importantly also to viral transduction, which allows efficient manipulation of candidate pathways.
Assaying the Ability of Diffusible Signaling Molecules to Reorient Embryonic Spinal Commissural Axons
This assay assesses the ability of a signaling molecule, here Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP7), to reorient commissural axons. An explant of embryonic dorsal spinal cord is cultured adjacent to an aggregate of COS cells secreting the candidate growth factors. Reoriented commissural axons growing within the explant are visualized by immunohistochemistry.
RNA In situ Hybridization in Whole Mount Embryos and Cell Histology Adapted for Marine Elasmobranchs
By combining methods for RNA whole mount in situ hybridization and histology, gene expression can be linked with cell fate decisions in the developing embryo. These methods have been adapted to marine elasmobranchs and facilitate the use of these animals as model organisms for biomedical, toxicology and comparative studies.
Use of LysoTracker to Detect Programmed Cell Death in Embryos and Differentiating Embryonic Stem Cells
We present a simple protocol to visualize regions of programmed cell death (PCD) in mouse embryos and differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cell cultures using a highly soluble dye called LysoTracker.
We describe a small molecule-based protocol for differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). This protocol generates Olig2+NG2+ OPCs with high efficiency by 30 days of differentiation. We also describe a method to generate "spiking" OPCs that can fire action potentials.
Endothelial Cell Co-culture Mediates Maturation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell to Pancreatic Insulin Producing Cells in a Directed Differentiation Approach
The current study describes a directed differentiation approach in inducing pancreatic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Of great significance is the finding that endothelial cell co-culture mediates maturation of human embryonic stem cell derived pancreatic progenitors into insulin expressing cells.
1Department of Neuroscience, The University of Connecticut Health Center, 2Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, The University of Connecticut Health Center, 3Stem Cell Institute, The University of Connecticut Health Center
This procedure yields telencephalic neurons by going through checkpoints which are similar to those observed during human development. The cells are allowed to spontaneously differentiate, are exposed to factors which push them towards the neural lineage, are isolated, and are plated onto coverslips to allow for terminal differentiation and maturation.
Dissection and Culture of Chick Statoacoustic Ganglion and Spinal Cord Explants in Collagen Gels for Neurite Outgrowth Assays
We demonstrate how to dissect and culture chick E4 statoacoustic ganglion and E6 spinal cord explants. Explants are cultured under serum-free conditions in 3D collagen gels for 24 hours. Neurite responsiveness is tested with growth factor-supplemented medium and with protein-coated beads.
Organotypic Slice Cultures of Embryonic Ventral Midbrain: A System to Study Dopaminergic Neuronal Development in vitro
A method to generate organotypic slices from the E12.5 murine embryonic midbrain is described. The organotypic slice cultures can be used to observe the behavior of dopaminergic neurons or other ventral midbrain neurons.
A method of gene transfer into chicken embryos at later incubation stages (older than Hamburger and Hamilton stage (HH) 22) is described. This method overcomes disadvantages of in ovo electroporation applied to older chicken embryos and is a useful technique to study gene function and regulation at older developmental stages.
1Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University, 2Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, 3Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, 4Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Here we present a method to isolate and culture cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells and cerebellar granule neurons from postnatal mouse.
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.
A variety of growth factors and proteins interact to induce cells to take on different cell fates during development. Here we demonstrate the use of an in ovo preparation to address possible interactions between different proteins in development by placing beads on E2.5 chick embryos.
We developed a new protocol to improve efficiency of in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons. The differentiated ES cells acquired motor neurons features as evidenced by expression of neuronal and motor neuron markers using immunohistochemical techniques.
1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 2Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
Primary, human fetal brain-derived, multipotential progenitor cells proliferate in vitro while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into neurons and astrocytes. This work shows that neural progenitors can be induced to differentiate through stages of the oligodendrocytic lineage by conditioning with select growth factors.
In order to understand the molecular mechanisms of the ethanol-induced developmental damage, we have developed a zebrafish model of ethanol exposure and are exploring the physical, cellular, and genetic alterations that occur after ethanol exposure1. We then seek to find potential interventions and rapidly test them in this animal model.
1Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame, 2Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, 3Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
We describe a method to conditionally knockdown the expression of a target protein during adult zebrafish fin regeneration. This technique involves micro-injecting and electroporating antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos into fin tissue, which allows testing the protein’s role in various stages of fin regeneration, including wound healing, blastema formation, and regenerative outgrowth.
Alginate Microcapsule as a 3D Platform for Propagation and Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) to Different Lineages
1Stem Cell Lab, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, 2Siriraj Center of Excellence for Stem cell Research, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 3Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital
We have optimized a microencapsulation technique as an effective 3D platform for propagation and differentiation of embryonic stem cells to endoderm and dopaminergic (DA) neurons. It also provides an opportunity for immune-isolation of cells from the host during transplantation. This platform can be adapted for other cell types.
This protocol utilizes a pull down assay to determine the levels of active RhoC GTPase within cells.
This article describes a method for labeling embryonic skin and thymus blood vessels.
1Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, 2Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology, Vanderbilt University, 3Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VISN 9), 4Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, 5Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University
Animal models are frequently utilized to study cancer metastasis to bone. In this protocol we will describe two common methods of tumor inoculation for bone metastasis studies and briefly describe some of the analyses utilized to monitor and quantify these models.
Zebrafish cell transplantation enables the combination of genetics and embryology to generate tissue specific chimeras. This video demonstrates gastrula staged cell transplantations that have allowed our lab to investigate the roles of astroglial populations and specific guidance cues during commissure formation in the forebrain.
In order to examine gene expression in the pupal wing tissue of Bicyclus anynana, we present an optimized protocol for in situ hybridizations using riboprobes. We also provide guidelines for the further optimization of this protocol for use in pupal wings of other Lepidopteran species.
Live Imaging of Cell Motility and Actin Cytoskeleton of Individual Neurons and Neural Crest Cells in Zebrafish Embryos
1Genetics Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This protocol describes imaging of individual neurons or neural crest cells in living zebrafish embryos. This method is used to examine cellular behaviors and actin localization using fluorescence confocal time-lapse microscopy.
Circulating tumor cells are isolated from the blood of cancer patients without inflicting cellular damage. Isolation of tumor cells is accomplished using a bimolecular surface of E-selectin in addition to antibodies against epithelial markers. A nanotube coating specifically promotes cancer cell adhesion resulting in high capture purities.
Developmental studies in the mouse are hampered by the inaccessibility of the embryo during gestation. To promote the long-term culture of the embryonic heart at late stages of gestation, we developed a protocol in which the excised heart is cultured in a semi-solid, dilute Matrigel.
1Dental and Craniofacial Research Institute and Section of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, UCLA, 2UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center, UCLA, 3Department of Bioengineering, UCLA, 4Center for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh
Human perivascular stem cells (PSCs) are a novel stem cell class for skeletal tissue regeneration similar to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). PSCs can be isolated by FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) from adipose tissue procured during standard liposuction procedures, then combined with an osteoinductive scaffold to achieve bone formation in vivo.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography Methodology for the Evaluation of Tissue Engineered Construct Growth
The procedure demonstrates the methodology of magnetic resonance elastography for monitoring the engineered outcome of adipose and osteogenic tissue engineered constructs through noninvasive local assessment of the mechanical properties using microscopic magnetic resonance elastography (μMRE).
Tissue-specific analysis of a hair follicle regeneration model using lentivirus to mediate gain- or loss-of-function.
1Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 2Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, Mount Sinai Hospital, 3Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 4Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Here we describe a detailed protocol for examination of sociability in mice by using Crawley's sociability and preference for social novelty test. We describe the advantages and possible applications for this procedure, including critical details important for correct interpretation of the results.
Contrast Ultrasound Targeted Treatment of Gliomas in Mice via Drug-Bearing Nanoparticle Delivery and Microvascular Ablation
Insonation of microbubbles is a promising strategy for tumor ablation at reduced time-averaged acoustic powers, as well as for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The purpose of the present study is to develop low duty cycle ultrasound pulsing strategies and nanocarriers to maximize non-thermal microvascular ablation and payload delivery to subcutaneous C6 gliomas.
1Department of Pediatrics and Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, 3Department of Pediatrics, University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine
Here we describe the isolation of CD133 expressing liver stem cells and cancer stem cells from whole murine liver, a process that requires tissue digestion, cell enrichment, and flow cytometry isolation. We include methods for advanced single cell isolation and clonal expansion.
Pharmacological and Functional Genetic Assays to Manipulate Regeneration of the Planarian Dugesia japonica
An attractive model for studying stem cell differentiation within a live animal is the planarian flatworm. Regeneration is studied by simple amputation experiments that are easily performed in a basic laboratory and are amenable to pharmacological and genetic (in vivo RNAi) manipulation as detailed by protocols in this article.
Astrocytes have been recognized to be versatile cells participating in fundamental biological processes that are essential for normal brain development and function, and central nervous system repair. Here we present a rapid procedure to obtain pure mouse astrocyte cultures to study the biology of this major class of central nervous system cells.
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
Retrograde Perfusion and Filling of Mouse Coronary Vasculature as Preparation for Micro Computed Tomography Imaging
1Department of Pathology, Center for Cardiovascular Biology, and Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, 2Departments of Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington
Visualization of the coronary vessels is critical to advancing our understanding of cardiovascular diseases. Here we describe a method for perfusing murine coronary vasculature with a radiopaque silicone rubber (Microfil), in preparation for micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) imaging.
A protocol for performing unilateral 6-OHDA lesions of the medial forebrain bundle in mice is described. This method has a low mortality rate (13.3 %) with 89% of the surviving animals showing >95% loss of striatal dopamine and 90.63±-4.02 % ipsiversive rotational bias towards the side of the lesion.