An assay to quantitatively measure Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β-induced invasion in 3-dimensional collagen gels is described. This assay takes advantage of the MCF10A series of cell lines, which represent different stages of breast cancer development. This method can be adopted to be used with other cell lines and might be used to investigate other potential activators or inhibitors of invasion.
Bio-Plex® overview with TGF-β mention
Using RNA-mediated Interference Feeding Strategy to Screen for Genes Involved in Body Size Regulation in the Nematode C. elegans
1Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City Universtiy of New York (CUNY), 2Department of Biology, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY), 3Biochemistry Program, The Graduate Center, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY)
We demonstrate how to use the RNAi feeding technique to knock down target genes and score body size phenotype in C. elegans. This method could be used for a large scale screen to identify potential genetic components of interest, such as those involved in body size regulation by DBL-1/TGF-β signaling.
1Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, Children's Health Research Institute, and Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
Determining the cell cycle position of a population of cells, or understanding how signals affect proliferation, can be readily measured by flow cytometry using this protocol. We report a simple experimental approach to staining cells and quantifying their position in the cell cycle.
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.
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.
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 report a method to isolate naïve multipotent skin-derived precursor (SKP) cells from primary human fibroblast cultures. We show that these SKPs derived from fibroblast cultures share similar stem cell properties to the ones derived directly from human skin biopsies. These cells express the neural crest marker, nestin, in addition to the multipotent markers such as OCT4 and Nanog.
Here we describe a method for the isolation of hepatic stellate cells from mouse liver. For stellate cell purification, mouse livers are digested in situ and in vitro by pronase-collagenase treatment prior to density gradient centrifugation. This technique yields highly pure hepatic stellate cells.
Programmed electrical stimulation provides the ability to determine conduction properties of the heart, and the possibility to induce and terminate cardiac arrhythmias using various pacing protocols. Using a transvenous catheter, intracardiac electrogram recordings can be obtained in mice following programmed electrical stimulation protocols to identify arrhythmogenic substrates.
Rapid and Efficient Generation of Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Multititre Plate Format
Protocols for neuronal differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells (hPSCs) are often time-consuming and require substantial cell culture skills. Here, we have adapted a small molecule-based differentiation procedure to a multititre plate format, allowing simple, rapid, and efficient generation of human neurons in a controlled manner.
We describe a method for generating regulatory, memory and naïve T cells from a single human blood donor. Polarized Tregs can be then compared to other subsets in a variety of genetic and functional applications with genetic homogeneity, including a suppression assay also detailed here.
Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) rich in myofibroblasts present within the tumour stroma, play a major role in driving tumour progression. We developed a coimplantation tumour xengraft model for experimentally generating CAFs from human mammary fibroblasts. The protocol describes how to establish CAF myofibroblasts that acquire an ability to promote tumourigenesis.
Following antigen exposure, subpopulations of activated B cells undergo a process known as class switch recombination (CSR) to produce antibody isotypes with distinct effector functions. The protocol outlined in this report explains how CSR can be induced and analyzed in vitro for the purposes of studying B cell function.
Organotypic Collagen I Assay: A Malleable Platform to Assess Cell Behaviour in a 3-Dimensional Context
A method is described for the preparation of a 3-dimensional matrix consisting of collagen type I and primary human fibroblasts. This organotypic gel serves as a useful substrate to assess invasive cell migration because it mimics basic features of tissue stroma and is amenable to many forms of microscopy.
Herein we describe the methods to construct, visualize, and quantify the bioluminescent reactions of both firefly and renilla luciferase enzymes expressed in metastatic breast cancer cells during their growth and metastasis in vivo.
1Department of Orthopaedics, The Warren Alpert Brown Medical School of Brown University and the Rhode Island Hospital, 2Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, VA Medical Center, Providence, RI, 3University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
We designed a novel mechanical loading bioreactor that can apply uniaxial or biaxial mechanical strain to a cartilage biocomposite prior to transplantation into an articular cartilage defect.
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.
Mechanical forces play a key role in lung development and lung injury. Here, we describe a method to isolate rodent fetal lung type II epithelial cells and fibroblasts and to expose them to mechanical stimulation using an in vitro system.
1Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, California State University Channel Islands, 2Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
A three-dimensional clonogenic assay that allows pancreatic-like progenitors to differentiate into insulin-expressing colonies is described. This method takes advantage of semi-solid media containing methylcellulose, Matrigel and growth factors, in which single progenitors proliferate and differentiate in vitro, permitting quantification of the number of functional progenitors in a population.
This method describes how to dissect and assess mammary gland development and function from mice. Excised mammary glands are assessed for the degree of development using whole mount while milk ejection is evaluated using an oxytocin-based myoepithelial cell contraction assay.
A simple method is described for analyzing effects of tissue fibroblasts on associated epithelial cells. The combination of this method and three-dimensional tissue culture can facilitate analysis of cells after isolation from 3D. The technique is applicable to cells of varying malignant potential, allowing systematic study of effects of tumor-associated stroma on tumor cells.
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, 2Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah
Cilia-generated fluid flow in Kupffer’s Vesicle (KV) controls left-right patterning of the zebrafish embryo. Here, we describe a technique to modulate gene function specifically in KV cells. In addition, we show how to deliver fluorescent beads into KV to visualize fluid flow.
Preparation of Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast Cells Suitable for Culturing Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The quality of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) is dictated by the right strain of mouse such as CF-1. Pluripotency-supportive MEFs and conditioned media (CM) obtained from these should contain optimal concentrations of Activin A, Gremlin and Tgfβ1 needed for the Activin/Nodal and FGF pathways to co-operatively maintain self-renewal and pluripotency.
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Center for Stem Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2Department of Pharmacology, Center for Stem Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 3Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Isolation of embryonic neural crest from the neural tube facilitates the use of in vitro methods for studying migration, self-renewal, and multipotency of neural crest.
An approach for analyzing migration and eventual fate of avian neural crest cells in quail-chick chimeric embryos is described. This method is a simple and straightforward technique for tracing neural crest cells during migration and differentiation that are otherwise difficult to distinguish within an unmanipulated chick embryo.
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.
1Neural Regeneration Laboratory and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 2Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University
Here, we describe how to produce, expand, and immunolabel postnatal hippocampal neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in three-dimensional (3D) culture. Next, using hybrid visualization technologies, we demonstrate how digital images of immunolabelled cryosections can be used to reconstruct and map the spatial position of immunopositive cells throughout the entire 3D neurosphere.