Live Cell Imaging of Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae using Automated Time-lapse Microscopy
This protocol provides a step-by-step procedure to monitor single cell behavior of different bacteria in time using automated fluorescence time-lapse microscopy. Furthermore, we provide guidelines how to analyze the microscopy images.
Tracking Neutrophil Intraluminal Crawling, Transendothelial Migration and Chemotaxis in Tissue by Intravital Video Microscopy
We describe a protocol of brightfield intravital microscopy for measuring dynamic neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions during neutrophil recruitment in response to the source of a neutrophil chemoattractant in vivo. Neutrophil intraluminal crawling, transendothelial migration and chemotaxis in mouse cremaster muscle tissue are visualized with time-lapsed video photography and tracked with ImageJ.
Microscopic imaging of live endothelial cells expressing GFP-actin allows characterization of dynamic changes in cytoskeletal structures. Unlike techniques that use fixed specimens, this method provides a detailed assessment of temporal changes in the actin cytoskeleton in the same cells before, during, and after various physical, pharmacological, or inflammatory stimuli.
Real-time Imaging of Heterotypic Platelet-neutrophil Interactions on the Activated Endothelium During Vascular Inflammation and Thrombus Formation in Live Mice
Here we report an experimental technique of fluorescence intravital microscopy to visualize heterotypic platelet-neutrophil interactions on the activated endothelium during vascular inflammation and thrombus formation in live mice. This microscopic technology will be valuable to study the molecular mechanism of vascular disease and to test pharmacologic agents under pathophysiological conditions.
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends on adaptor proteins that coordinate cargo selection and clathrin coat assembly. Here we describe procedures to study adaptor-clathrin physical interaction and live cell imaging approaches using as a model the yeast endocytic adaptor protein Sla1p.
Determination of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reactive Oxygen Species in Live Rat Cortical Neurons
We demonstrate application of the fluorescence indicator, TMRM, in cortical neurons to determine the relative changes in TMRM fluorescence intensity before and after application of a specific stimulus. We also show application of the fluorescence probe H2DCF-DA to assess the relative level of reactive oxygen species in cortical neurons.
Multicolor Time-lapse Imaging of Transgenic Zebrafish: Visualizing Retinal Stem Cells Activated by Targeted Neuronal Cell Ablation
In this video, techniques for multicolor confocal time-lapse imaging and targeted cell ablation are provided. Time-lapse imaging is used to monitor the behavior of multiple cell types of interest in vivo. Targeted cell ablation facilitates the study neural circuit function and cell-specific neuronal regeneration paradigms.
Analysis of the Development of a Morphological Phenotype as a Function of Protein Concentration in Budding Yeast
Gene deletion and protein overexpression are common methods for studying functions of proteins. In this article, we describe a protocol for analysis of phenotype development as a function of protein concentration at population and single-cell levels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
FRET-based reporters are increasingly used to monitor kinase and phosphatase activities in live cells. Here we describe a method on how to use FRET-based reporters to assess cell cycle-dependent changes in target phosphorylation.
Here, we describe a method for isolation, culture and manipulation of mouse embryonic pancreas. This represents an excellent ex vivo system for studying various aspects of pancreatic development, including morphogenesis, differentiation and growth. Pancreatic bud explants can be cultured for several days and used in a range of different applications, including whole-mount immunofluorescence and live imaging.
Numerous recent studies have identified mutations in synaptic proteins associated with brain pathologies. Primary cultured cortical neurons offer great flexibility in examining the effects of these disease-associated proteins on dendritic spine morphology and motility.
1Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Center for the Physics of Living Cells, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
This article describes the procedure for preparing a fluorescently-labeled version of bacteriophage lambda, infection of E. coli bacteria, following the infection outcome under the microscope, and analysis of infection results.
1Department of poverty related diseases, Barcelona Centre for International Health Research, 2Confocal Microscopy Unit, University of Barcelona- Scientific and Technological Centers, 3Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)
We show the method for performing intravital microscopy of the spleen using GFP transgenic malaria parasites and the quantification of parasite mobility and blood flow within this organ.
Here we describe a basic protocol to image and quantify the mitotic timing of live mammalian tissue culture cells after siRNA transfection.
The C. elegans embryo is a powerful system for studying cell biology and development. We present a protocol for live imaging of C. elegans embryos utilizing DIC optics or fluorescence using readily available epifluorescent microscopes and open-source software.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of California, Davis, 2NSF Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology, University of California, Davis, 3University of Tromsø, 4Department of Surgery (Division of Surgical Oncology), University of California, Davis, 5UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Davis, 6Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Davis
Autophagy is a ubiquitous process that enables cells to degrade and recycle proteins and organelles. We apply advanced fluorescence microscopy to visualize and quantify the small, but essential, physical changes associated with the induction of autophagy, including the formation and distribution of autophagosomes and lysosomes, and their fusion into autolysosomes.
The mesothelial clearance assay described here takes advantage of fluorescently labeled cells and time-lapse video microscopy to visualize and quantitatively measure the interactions of ovarian cancer multicellular spheroids and mesothelial cell monolayers. This assay models the early steps of ovarian cancer metastasis.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Science Centre, 3Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University, 4Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group, London Health Science Centre
We present a novel approach to quantify nanoparticle localization in the vasculature of human xenografted tumors using dynamic, real-time intravital imaging in an avian embryo model.
Stimulus-evoked [Ca2+]i signals of individual human sperm are assessed. Motile cells are loaded with Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye (AM-ester method) and immobilised in a perfusable chamber. Cells are imaged by time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and stimulated via the perfusing medium. Responses of single cells (or regions) are analysed offline using Excel.
Recording Multicellular Behavior in Myxococcus xanthus Biofilms using Time-lapse Microcinematography
To study Myxococcus xanthus swarm behavior, we have designed a time-lapse microcinematography protocol that can be modified for different assays. It employs standard growth conditions adapted for microscopy, and yields reproducible results by the use of inexpensive, reusable silicone gaskets. We have used this method to quantify multicellular chemotaxis.
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.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
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.
FRET Microscopy for Real-time Monitoring of Signaling Events in Live Cells Using Unimolecular Biosensors
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is a powerful technique for real-time monitoring of signaling events in live cells using various biosensors as reporters. Here we describe how to build a customized epifluorescence FRET imaging system from commercially available components and how to use it for FRET experiments.
We present the procedure for fabrication and operation of a microfluidic device that recreates heterogeneous tumor microenvironments in vitro. The variability in apoptosis within tumor tissue was quantified using fluorescent stains and the effective diffusion coefficient of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin into tumor tissue was evaluated.
Visualization of Cortex Organization and Dynamics in Microorganisms, using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy
Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy is a powerful approach to observe structures close to the cell surface at high contrast and temporal resolution. We demonstrate how TIRF can be employed to study protein dynamics at the cortex of cell wall-enclosed bacterial and fungal cells.
A method for the assembly of adhesive and soluble gradients in a microscopy chamber for live cell migration studies is described. The engineered environment combines antifouling surfaces and adhesive tracks with solution gradients and therefore allows one to determine the relative importance of guidance cues.
1Neural Development Group, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK, 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Imaging embryonic tissue in real-time is challenging over long periods of time. Here we present an assay for monitoring cellular and sub-cellular changes in chick spinal cord for long periods with high spatial and temporal resolution. This technique can be adapted for other regions of the nervous system and developing embryo.
We describe a method to separate organelles by density in living Drosophila embryos. Embryos are embedded in agar and centrifuged. This technique yields reproducible separation of major organelles along the anterior-posterior embryo axis. This method facilitates colocalization experiments and yields organelle fractions for biochemical analysis and transplantation experiments.
1Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, 2Department of Synapses - Circuits - Plasticity, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, 3Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich
Targeted-esterase induced dye loading (TED) supports the analysis of intracellular calcium store dynamics by fluorescence imaging. The method bases on targeting of a recombinant Carboxylesterase to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it improves the local unmasking of synthetic low-affinity Ca2+ indicator dyes in the ER lumen.
Direct Observation of Phagocytosis and NET-formation by Neutrophils in Infected Lungs using 2-photon Microscopy
We show, how to use 2-photon microscopy for the observation of the dynamics of neutrophil granulocytes in infected lungs while they phagocytose pathogens or produce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs).
Here we describe a Schwann cell (SC) migration assay in which SCs are able to develop along extending axons.
1Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory, University School of Medicine, 3Emory University School of Medicine
This protocol provides the necessary information for setting up, caring for, recording from and electrically stimulating cultures on MEAs. In vitro networks provide a means for asking physiologically relevant questions at the network and cellular levels leading to a better understanding of brain function and dysfunction.
Xenopus embryonic epithelia are an ideal model system to study cell behaviors such as polarity development and shape change during epithelial morphogenesis. Traditional histology of fixed samples is increasingly being complemented by live-cell confocal imaging. Here we demonstrate methods to isolate frog tissues and visualize live epithelial cells and their cytoskeleton using live-cell confocal microscopy.
We present a high-throughput flow cytometric assay to determine the phagocytic activity of antigen-specific antibodies from clinical samples, utilizing fluorescent antigen-coated beads and a monocytic cell line expressing multiple Fc receptors—providing receptor usage and phagocytic activity determinations in a standardized and reproducible fashion for any antigen of interest.
1Unit on Neural Circuits and Adaptive Behaviors, Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 2Department of Neuroscience, Brown University - National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, 3Section on Synaptic Pharmacology, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
Experience-dependent molecular changes in neurons are essential for the brain's ability to adapt in response to behavioral challenges. An in vivo two-photon imaging method is described here that allows the tracking of such molecular changes in individual cortical neurons through genetically encoded reporters.
1Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, 3Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mesoscopic fluorescence tomography operates beyond the penetration limits of tissue-sectioning fluorescence microscopy. The technique is based on multi-projection illumination and a photon transport description. We demonstrate in-vivo whole-body 3D visualization of the morphogenesis of GFP-expressing wing imaginal discs in Drosophila melanogaster.
Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) as a Tool to Visualize Microinjected Molecules and their Eukaryotic Sub-cellular Targets
The CLEM technique has been adapted to analyze ultrastructural morphology of membranes, organelles, and subcellular structures affected by microinjected molecules. This method combines the powerful techniques of micromanipulation/microinjection, confocal fluorescent microscopy, and electron microscopy to allow millimeter to multi-nanometer resolution. This technique is amenable to a wide variety of applications.
This protocol describes a general approach to perform photoconversion of fluorescent proteins on a confocal laser scanning microscope. We describe procedures for the photoconversion of puried protein samples, as well as for dual-probe optical highlighting in live cells with mOrange2 and Dronpa.
Enhancement of Apoptotic and Autophagic Induction by a Novel Synthetic C-1 Analogue of 7-deoxypancratistatin in Human Breast Adenocarcinoma and Neuroblastoma Cells with Tamoxifen
We have synthesized a novel analogue of pancratistatin with comparable anti-cancer activity as native pancratistatin; interestingly, combinatory treatment with tamoxifen yielded a drastic enhancement in apoptotic and autophagic induction by mitochondrial targeting with minimal effect on noncancerous fibroblasts. Thus, JCTH-4 in combination with tamoxifen could provide a safe anti-cancer therapy.
We describe a single-cell high-throughput assay to measure cytotoxicity of T cells when incubated with tumor target cells. This method employs a dense, elastomeric array of sub-nanoliter wells (~100,000 wells/array) to spatially confine the T cells and target cells at defined ratios and is coupled to fluorescence microscopy to monitor effector-target conjugation and subsequent apoptosis.
1Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 3Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University
A method is described to individually select, manipulate, and image live pathogens using an optical trap coupled to a spinning disk microscope. The optical trap provides spatial and temporal control of organisms and places them adjacent to host cells. Fluorescence microscopy captures dynamic intercellular interactions with minimal perturbation to cells.
1Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2Cell Biology Program, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 3Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
To purify zygotes of S. cerevisiae, haploid cells of opposite mating type were engineered to express red or green fluorescent proteins, co-incubated to allow zygote formation, and fractionated using a flow cytometry-based protocol. The highly-enriched fraction enables subsequent "-omic" studies, recovery of initial progeny, and systematic investigation of zygote morphogenesis.
Here are some highlights from the February 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Multi-photon Imaging of Tumor Cell Invasion in an Orthotopic Mouse Model of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
1Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Program in Cancer Cell Biology, Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University, 2Sensory Neuroscience Research Center, West Virginia University, 3Departments of Otolaryngology and Physiology, Center for Neuroscience, West Virginia University
A comprehensive overview of the techniques involved in generating a mouse model of oral cancer and quantitative monitoring of tumor invasion within the tongue through multi-photon microscopy of labeled cells is presented. This system can serve as a useful platform for the molecular assessment and drug efficacy of anti-invasive compounds.
A method to load subventricular zone (SVZ) cells with calcium indicator dyes for recording calcium activity is described. The postnatal SVZ contains tightly packed cells including neural progenitor cells and neuroblasts. Rather than using bath loading we injected the dye by pressure inside the tissue allowing better dye diffusion.
The fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is a good model system to study basic cellular processes. Here we describe a method to perform quantitative live cell analysis of fission yeast. In this particular experiment we focus on organisation of the genome within the cell nucleus, but the method can also be used to study cytosolic factors.
We demonstrate how to set up an in vitro ischemia/reperfusion model and how to evaluate the effect of stem cell therapy on postischemic cardiac cells.