Articles by Harris A. Weisz in JoVE
Stereotactic Atlas-Guided Laser Capture Microdissection of Brain Regions Affected by Traumatic Injury Harris A. Weisz*1, Deborah R. Boone*1, Stacy L. Sell1, Helen L. Hellmich1 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch We describe the use of laser capture microdissection to obtain samples of distinct cell populations from different brain regions for gene and microRNA analysis. This technique allows the study of differential effects of traumatic brain injury in specific regions of the rat brain.
Other articles by Harris A. Weisz on PubMed
Pathway-focused PCR Array Profiling of Enriched Populations of Laser Capture Microdissected Hippocampal Cells After Traumatic Brain Injury PloS One. 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26016641 Cognitive deficits in survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are associated with irreversible neurodegeneration in brain regions such as the hippocampus. Comparative gene expression analysis of dying and surviving neurons could provide insight into potential therapeutic targets. We used two pathway-specific PCR arrays (RT2 Profiler Apoptosis and Neurotrophins & Receptors PCR arrays) to identify and validate TBI-induced gene expression in dying (Fluoro-Jade-positive) or surviving (Fluoro-Jade-negative) pyramidal neurons obtained by laser capture microdissection (LCM). In the Apoptosis PCR array, dying neurons showed significant increases in expression of genes associated with cell death, inflammation, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress compared with adjacent, surviving neurons. Pro-survival genes with pleiotropic functions were also significantly increased in dying neurons compared to surviving neurons, suggesting that even irreversibly injured neurons are able to mount a protective response. In the Neurotrophins & Receptors PCR array, which consists of genes that are normally expected to be expressed in both groups of hippocampal neurons, only a few genes were expressed at significantly different levels between dying and surviving neurons. Immunohistochemical analysis of selected, differentially expressed proteins supported the gene expression data. This is the first demonstration of pathway-focused PCR array profiling of identified populations of dying and surviving neurons in the brain after TBI. Combining precise laser microdissection of identifiable cells with pathway-focused PCR array analysis is a practical, low-cost alternative to microarrays that provided insight into neuroprotective signals that could be therapeutically targeted to ameliorate TBI-induced neurodegeneration.
A Novel in Vitro Analog Expressing Learning-induced Cellular Correlates in Distinct Neural Circuits Learning & Memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). Aug, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28716953 When presented with noxious stimuli, Aplysia exhibits concurrent sensitization of defensive responses, such as the tail-induced siphon withdrawal reflex (TSWR) and suppression of feeding. At the cellular level, sensitization of the TSWR is accompanied by an increase in the excitability of the tail sensory neurons (TSNs) that elicit the reflex, whereas feeding suppression is accompanied by decreased excitability of B51, a decision-making neuron in the feeding neural circuit. The goal of this study was to develop an in vitro analog coexpressing the above cellular correlates. We used a reduced preparation consisting of buccal, cerebral, and pleural-pedal ganglia, which contain the neural circuits controlling feeding and the TSWR, respectively. Sensitizing stimuli were delivered in vitro by electrical stimulation of afferent nerves. When trained with sensitizing stimuli, the in vitro analog expressed concomitant increased excitability in TSNs and decreased excitability in B51, which are consistent with the occurrence of sensitization and feeding suppression induced by in vivo training. This in vitro analog expressed both short-term (15 min) and long-term (24 h) excitability changes in TSNs and B51, depending on the amount of training administered. Finally, in vitro application of serotonin increased TSN excitability without altering B51 excitability, mirroring the in vivo application of the monoamine that induces sensitization, but not feeding suppression.
Evidence Linking MicroRNA Suppression of Essential Prosurvival Genes with Hippocampal Cell Death After Traumatic Brain Injury Scientific Reports. Jul, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28751711 The underlying molecular mechanisms of how dysregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) cause neurodegeneration after traumatic brain injury (TBI) remain elusive. Here we analyzed the biological roles of approximately 600 genes - we previously found these dysregulated in dying and surviving rat hippocampal neurons - that are targeted by ten TBI-altered miRNAs. Bioinformatic analysis suggests that neurodegeneration results from a global miRNA-mediated suppression of genes essential for maintaining proteostasis; many are hub genes - involved in RNA processing, cytoskeletal metabolism, intracellular trafficking, cell cycle progression, repair/maintenance, bioenergetics and cell-cell signaling - whose disrupted expression is linked to human disease. Notably, dysregulation of these essential genes would significantly impair synaptic function and functional brain connectivity. In surviving neurons, upregulated miRNA target genes are co-regulated members of prosurvival pathways associated with cellular regeneration, neural plasticity, and development. This study captures the diversity of miRNA-regulated genes that may be essential for cell repair and survival responses after TBI.