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.
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.
Visualizing Proteins and Macromolecular Complexes by Negative Stain EM: from Grid Preparation to Image Acquisition
Visualizing protein samples by negative stain electron microscopy (EM) has become a popular structural analysis method. It is useful for quantitative structural analysis, such as calculating a 3D reconstruction of the molecules being studied, and also for qualitative examination of the quality of protein preparations. In this article we present detailed protocols for preparing the EM grids, staining the sample and visualizing the sample in an electron microscope. Novice users can follow these protocols easily and to utilize negative stain EM as a routine assay, in addition to other biochemical assays, for evaluating their protein samples.
Characterization of Surface Modifications by White Light Interferometry: Applications in Ion Sputtering, Laser Ablation, and Tribology Experiments
White light microscope interferometry is an optical, noncontact and quick method for measuring the topography of surfaces. It is shown how the method can be applied toward mechanical wear analysis, where wear scars on tribological test samples are analyzed; and in materials science to determine ion beam sputtering or laser ablation volumes and depths.
Monitoring Cleaved Caspase-3 Activity and Apoptosis of Immortalized Oligodendroglial Cells using Live-cell Imaging and Cleaveable Fluorogenic-dye Substrates Following Potassium-induced Membrane Depolarization
Live-cell imaging of caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in immortalized N19-oligodendrocyte cell cultures using the NucView 488 caspase-3 substrate. This technique is applicable for programmed cell death assays in real-time in a variety of cell types and tissues.
We describe a technique for labeling and tracking stem cells with FDA-approved, superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO), ferumoxytol (Feraheme). This cellular imaging technique that utilizes magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for visualization, is readily accessible for long-term monitoring and diagnosis of successful or unsuccessful stem cell engraftments in patients.
The method described here utilizes direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into the hemocoel of Manduca sexta insect larvae. M. sexta is a commercially available and well-studied insect. Thus, this method represents a simple approach to analyzing host-bacterial interactions from the perspective of one or both partners.
A method of quantitatively evaluating the chemotactic response of Caenorhabditis elegans is described. A chemotactic index (CI) was employed as a way to precisely evaluate the response of worms to certain targets, and serve as a platform of comparison between strains and compounds of interest.
This article describes a protocol for inducing psychological stress in participants, which enables researchers to measure psychological, physiological and neuroendocrine responses to stress within single participants or between groups.
Correlating Behavioral Responses to fMRI Signals from Human Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Cognitive Processes Using Task Analysis
The goal of our research is to correlate behavior to brain activity. Accurate behavioral measures and imaging techniques allow us to elucidate brain-behavior relationships.
Harvesting Murine Alveolar Macrophages and Evaluating Cellular Activation Induced by Polyanhydride Nanoparticles
Herein, we describe protocols for harvesting murine alveolar macrophages, which are resident innate immune cells in the lung, and examining their activation in response to co-culture with polyanhydride nanoparticles.
We discuss the construction and operation of a complex nonlinear optical system that uses ultrafast all-optical switching to isolate Raman from fluorescence signals. Using this system we are able to successfully separate Raman and fluorescence signals utilizing pulse energies and average powers that remain biologically safe.
Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
We describe a process using laser-capture microdissection to isolate and extract RNA from a homogeneous cell population, pyramidal neurons, in layer III of the superior temporal gyrus in postmortem human brains. We subsequently linearly amplify (T7-based) mRNA, and hybridize the sample to the Affymetrix human X3P microarray.
Single Particle Electron Microscopy Reconstruction of the Exosome Complex Using the Random Conical Tilt Method
This article describes a standard method to get a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of biological macromolecules using negative staining electron microscopy (EM). In this protocol, we explain how to get the 3D structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae exosome complex at medium resolution using the random conical tilt reconstruction method (RCT).
1Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, 2Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 3Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 4Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics, 5Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science, 6Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science
Light from astronomical objects must travel through the earth's turbulent atmosphere before it can be imaged by ground-based telescopes. To enable direct imaging at maximum theoretical angular resolution, advanced techniques such as those employed by the Robo-AO adaptive-optics system must be used.
We illustrate here how to use electron cryotomography (ECT) to study the ultrastructure of bacterial cells in near-native states, to "macromolecular" (~4 nm) resolution.
1Applied Bioscience Program, Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2Nursing Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 3Medical Laboratory Science Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
This study describes a novel microplate assay that measures FV coagulation activity during fibrin clot formation in human plasma which has not been reported previously. The method uses a kinetic microplate reader to continuously measure the change in absorbance at 405nm during fibrin clot formation in human plasma.
1Institute for Solid State Research, IFW-Dresden, 2Institute of Metal Physics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 3Diamond Light Source LTD, 4Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, 5CNR-SPIN, and Dipartimento di Fisica "E. R. Caianiello", Università di Salerno, 6Institute of Physics of Complex Matter, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The overall goal of this method is to determine the low-energy electronic structure of solids at ultra-low temperatures using Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation.
Biosensors interface with complex, biological environments and perform targeted detection by combining highly sensitive sensors with highly specific probes attached to the sensor via surface modification. Here, we demonstrate the surface functionalization of silica optical sensors with biotin using silane coupling agents to bridge the sensor and the biological environment.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Quantification of Pulmonary Perfusion using Calibrated Arterial Spin Labeling
A MR imaging method to study the distribution of pulmonary blood flow under a variety of physiological conditions, in this case exposure to three different inspired oxygen concentrations: hypoxia, normoxia, and hyperoxia, is described. This technique utilizes human pulmonary physiology research techniques in an MR scanning environment.
In situ subcellular fractionation of mammalian cells on microscope coverslips allows the visualisation of protein localisation.
This video demonstrates use of a rail-mounted high-frequency ultrasound probe to perform echocardiography on an anesthetized mouse. The methods describe both conventional two-dimensional and M-mode measurements of cardiac function in addition to newer, more powerful tools such as color Doppler, strain analysis, as well as general and targeted contrast imaging.
Patterned Photostimulation with Digital Micromirror Devices to Investigate Dendritic Integration Across Branch Points
Digital micromirror devices (DMD) can generate complex patterns in time and space with which to control neuronal excitability. Issues relevant to the design, construction, and operation of DMD systems are discussed. Such a system enabled the demonstration of non-linear integration across distal dendritic branch points.
Partially isolated cortex (“undercut”) is an efficient animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis. Here we demonstrate how to make a novel surgical device and use it to make more precise and consistent lesions to generate this model.
A test battery (IMAP) for performing an in-depth assessment of auditory and cognitive abilities contributing to listening skills is described. It is quick to administer, child-friendly and free from linguistic confounds. Stimulus generation and protocol management are controlled via a software platform (IHR-STAR) to ensure replicable procedures.
This article describes various procedures for screening rats and mice to detect endo- or ectoparasitism. Several diagnostic assays will be demonstrated, both those suitable for use on live animals and those used after euthanasia of the animal. Photographs to aid in identification of rat and mouse parasites will be included.
Determination of Molecular Structures of HIV Envelope Glycoproteins using Cryo-Electron Tomography and Automated Sub-tomogram Averaging
1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, 3National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 5William Fremd High School, 6University of Virginia, 7Duke University, 8Yale University, 9University of Notre Dame, 10Washington University in St. Louis, 11Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 12Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The protocol describes a high-throughput approach to determining structures of membrane proteins using cryo-electron tomography and 3D image processing. It covers the details of specimen preparation, data collection, data processing and interpretation, and concludes with the production of a representative target for the approach, the HIV-1 Envelope glycoprotein. These computational procedures are designed in a way that enables researchers and students to work remotely and contribute to data processing and structural analysis.
Packaging HIV- or FIV-based Lentivector Expression Constructs & Transduction of VSV-G Pseudotyped Viral Particles
Lentiviral expression vectors are the most effective vehicles for stably expressing different effector molecules or reporter constructs in dividing and non-dividing mammalian cells and whole organisms. Here we provide a protocol on how to package lentivector expression constructs in pseudoviral particles and to transduce target cells using the pseudoviral particles.
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.
This product demonstration video, from Leica Microsystems and myNeurolab.com, illustrates usage of the innovative Leica Angle Two™ computer-guided stereotaxic instrument for mouse, rat and other lab animals. The Angle Two™ allows neuroscientists to be more precise and repeatable in targeting specific brain locations; thus reducing animal costs. Charles Scouten, PhD, Product & Innovation Manager at Leica Microsystems, guides the viewer step-by-step through the usage of this unique stereotaxic instrument.
Manufacturing and Using Piggy-back Multibarrel Electrodes for In vivo Pharmacological Manipulations of Neural Responses
Iontophoresis of neural agonists and antagonists during extracellular in vivo recordings is a powerful way to manipulate a neuron’s microenvironment. These manipulations can most easily be done via piggy-back multibarrel electrodes. Here we describe how to manufacture them and use them during auditory recordings.
Endothelial colony forming progenitor cells (ECFCs) are a promising tool to study vascular homeostasis and repair.1,2 This paper introduces a novel animal-serum free method for isolation and expansion of ECFC from heparinised adult human peripheral blood with pooled human platelet lysate (pHPL) diminishing the risk of anti-bovine immunisation.
Aqueous two-phase systems were used to simultaneously pattern multiple populations of cells. This fast and easy method for cell patterning takes advantage of the phase separation of aqueous solutions of dextran and polyethylene glycol and the interfacial tension that exists between the two polymer solutions.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire, 2Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Ophthalmology, 3Department of Ophthalmology, South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
This video demonstrates a novel capsulorhexis technique in modern cataract surgery. Capsulorhexis is the most difficult and important part of phacoemulsification surgery.
Femtosecond-laser direct-writing is frequently used to create three-dimensional (3D) patterns in polymers and glasses. However, patterning metals in 3D remains a challenge. We describe a method for fabricating silver nanostructures embedded inside a polymer matrix using a femtosecond laser centered at 800 nm.
Cells play an instrumental and increasing role in research, and the discovery and development of new therapeutics. With this increasing need for greater number of cells we need more efficient and effective ways for growing and harvesting attachment dependent cells. A Multilayered flask with the right features can serve this purpose.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, 3National Institute of Ophthalmology, 4Department of Ophthalmology, South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Capsulorhexis is an important step in phacoemulsification surgery. A surgeon creates a continous curvilinear tear on the anterior lens capsule by controlling the tearing vector forces. A peripherally extended tear is a serious complication. This video demonstrates a novel technique of rescuing capsular radial tear out using a cystotome.
This video demonstrates New culture, a method by which chick embryos are cultured outside the egg for up to 24 hr. This method enables one to study early development (primitive streak to 14 som.), a period corresponding to E7-9 in mouse. Applications of this technique include electroporation, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
Protocol for Vaccinia infection of HeLa cells and analysis of host and viral gene expression. Part 1 of 3.
Transthoracic echocardiography offers a noninvasive method for the evaluation of cardiac function in mice. A combination of ultrasound and Doppler imaging modalities can be used to obtain dimensional measurements of the heart and intracardiac blood flow, which together provide an assessment of cardiac systolic and diastolic performance.
Design and Assembly of an Ultra-light Motorized Microdrive for Chronic Neural Recordings in Small Animals
The design, fabrication and assembly of an ultra-light motorized microdrive is described. The device provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for chronic recordings of single units in small behaving animals.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, 4Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
Photoacoustic ophthalmology (PAOM), an optical-absorption-based imaging modality, provides the complementary evaluation of the retina to the currently available ophthalmic imaging technologies. We report the using of PAOM integrated with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for simultaneous multimodal retinal imaging in rats.
The Vermicelli and Capellini Handling Tests: Simple quantitative measures of dexterous forepaw function in rats and mice
1Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 2Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Neurology, University of Florida, 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida
The Vermicelli and Capellini Handling Tests of forepaw dexterity take advantage of the natural inclination of rodents to manipulate food items using skillful forepaw and digit movements. Animals are videotaped while handling short strands of uncooked dry pasta. Slow motion video playback allows for the quantification of forepaw adjustments.
1Respiratory Infection Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, 2Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, University Hospital Trust, 3Comprehensive Local Research Network, 4NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Microbial Diseases, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, 5Institute of Lung Health, Respiratory Biomedical Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust & University of Leicester, 6Department of Clinical Infection Microbiology & Immunology, Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool
Experimental human pneumococcal carriage offers a natural model of carriage and a potential model for use in vaccine development. This technique is valuable yet complex and involves clinical risk by introducing a pathogen into a human. We have developed a detailed protocol.
Combining monodisperse drop generation with inertial ordering of cells and particles, we describe a method to encapsulate a desired number of cells or particles in a single drop at kHz rates. We demonstrate efficiencies twice exceeding those of unordered encapsulation for single- and double-particle drops.
In this report, we demonstrate a system to isolate and culture donor cells from the mouse mammary gland, and orthotopically transplant these cells in recipient mice to analyze stromal: epithelial interactions during mammary tumor development.
Animal models of relapse, known as reinstatement procedures, have been used extensively to study the role of stress in relapse to drug seeking. Here, we report on a method for inducing the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory rats via acute exposures to mild, intermittent electric footshock.
We demonstrate a simple method for placing cells at desired locations on a substrate. This method patterns cells by flipping a silicone chip containing microwells filled with cells onto the substrate. This method provides a new way to modulate diffusible and juxtacrine signaling between cells.
The ease of accessibility of the embryo has allowed for experiments to map cell fates using several approaches, including chick quail chimeras and focal dye labeling. In this article we demonstrate one egg preparation method that has been optimized for long survival times.