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Journal of Neuroscience Methods

Dan Madularu, Axel P Mathieu, Chathura Kumaragamage, Lauren Reynolds, Jamie Near, Cecilia Flores, M Natasha Rajah
BACKGROUND: Preclinical neuroimaging allows for the assessment of brain anatomy, connectivity and function in laboratory animals, such as mice and rats. Most of these studies are performed under anesthesia to avoid movement during the scanning sessions. METHOD: Due to the limitations associated with anesthetized imaging, recent efforts have been made to conduct rodent imaging studies in awake animals, habituated to the restraint systems used in these instances. As of now, only one such system is commercially available for mouse scanning (Animal Imaging Research, Boston, MA, USA) integrating the radiofrequency coil electronics with the restraining element, an approach which, although effective in reducing head motion during awake imaging, has some limitations...
June 17, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Liwei Yan, Yongze Guo, Jian Qi, Qingtang Zhu, Liqiang Gu, Canbin Zheng, Tao Lin, Yutong Yu, Zitao Zeng, Sha Yu, Shuang Zhu, Xiang Zhou, Xi Zhang, Yunfei Du, Zhi Yao, Yao Lu, Xiaolin Liu
BACKGROUND: The precise annotation and accurate identification of the topography of fascicles to the end organs are prerequisites for studying human peripheral nerves. NEW METHOD: In this study, we present a feasible imaging method that acquires 3D high-resolution (HR) topography of peripheral nerve fascicles using an iodine and freeze-drying (IFD) micro-computed tomography (microCT) method to greatly increase the contrast of fascicle images. RESULTS: The enhanced microCT imaging method can facilitate the reconstruction of high-contrast HR fascicle images, fascicle segmentation and extraction, feature analysis, and the tracing of fascicle topography to end organs, which define fascicle functions...
June 17, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Adora M DSouza, Anas Z Abidin, Lutz Leistritz, Axel Wismüller
BACKGROUND: Large-scale Granger causality (lsGC) is a recently developed, resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) connectivity analysis approach that estimates multivariate voxel-resolution connectivity. Unlike most commonly used multivariate approaches, which establish coarse-resolution connectivity by aggregating voxel time-series avoiding an underdetermined problem, lsGC estimates voxel-resolution, fine-grained connectivity by incorporating an embedded dimension reduction. NEW METHOD: We investigate application of lsGC on realistic fMRI simulations, modeling smoothing of neuronal activity by the hemodynamic response function and repetition time (TR), and empirical resting-state fMRI data...
June 16, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Jonathan Isaacs, Nathan Richards, John McMurtry, Satya Mallu, Gaurangkumar Patel, Matthew Thompson, Dorne Yager
BACKGROUND: Tissue processing to create immunotolerant nerve allograft removes neurosupportive cells. Few strategies have been described for implanting new cells into the graft to support axonal regeneration. NEW METHOD: Micropuncture of the nerve allograft surface combined with immersion into a pressurized cell-rich solution to potentiate the introduction of viable Schwann cells (SC) into processed nerve allograft. Allografts were used to repair rodent sciatic nerve defects...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
David K Meyerholz, Leah R Reznikov
BACKGROUND: The anatomy and physiology of the pig nervous system is more similar to humans compared to traditional rodent models. This makes the pig an attractive model to answer questions relating to human health and disease. Yet the technical and molecular tools available to pig researchers are limited compared to rodent researchers NEW METHOD: We developed simple and rapid methods to isolate the trigeminal, nodose (distal vagal), and dorsal root ganglia from neonatal pigs. We selected these ganglia due to their broad applicability to basic science researchers and clinicians RESULTS: Use of these methods resulted in reproducible isolation of all three types of ganglia as validated by histological examination...
June 8, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Ankit Parekh, Ivan W Selesnick, Ricardo S Osorio, Andrew W Varga, David M Rapoport, Indu Ayappa
BACKGROUND: Automated single-channel spindle detectors, for human sleep EEG, are blind to the presence of spindles in other recorded channels unlike visual annotation by a human expert. NEW METHOD: We propose a multichannel spindle detection method that aims to detect global and local spindle activity in human sleep EEG. Using a non-linear signal model, which assumes the input EEG to be the sum of a transient and an oscillatory component, we propose a multichannel transient separation algorithm...
June 6, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Johnathan M Borland, Kyle J Frantz, Lauren M Aiani, Kymberly N Grantham, Zhimin Song, H Elliott Albers
BACKGROUND: Social reward plays a critical role in the development of beneficial social relationships, and disorders of the mechanisms controlling social reward are involved in the etiology of many psychiatric diseases. NEW METHOD: We present a novel operant social preference task to quantify social reward in rodents using an apparatus with three chambers separated by one-way vertical-swing doors. The experimental animal is placed in the larger chamber while the two smaller chambers either remain empty or contain a stimulus animal or other potential reward stimulus...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
P Roemers, P N Mazzola, P P De Deyn, W J Bossers, M J G van Heuvelen, E A van der Zee
BACKGROUND: Voluntary strength training methods for rodents are necessary to investigate the effects of strength training on cognition and the brain. However, few voluntary methods are available. NEW METHOD: The current study tested functional and muscular effects of two novel voluntary strength training methods, burrowing (digging a substrate out of a tube) and unloaded tower climbing, in male C57Bl6 mice. To compare these two novel methods with existing exercise methods, resistance running and (non-resistance) running were included...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Ayanda Ngwenya, Janae Nahirney, Ben Brinkman, Lauren Williams, Andrew N Iwaniuk
BACKGROUND: The relative size and neuronal density of brain regions are important metrics in both comparative and experimental studies in neuroscience. Consequently, it is imperative to have accurate, reliable and reproducible methods of quantifying cell number. NEW METHOD: The isotropic fractionator (IF) method estimates the number of neurons and non-neurons in the central nervous system by homogenizing tissue into discrete nuclei and determining the proportion of neurons from non-neurons using immunohistochemistry (Herculano- Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005)...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Eero Satuvuori, Mario Mulansky, Nebojsa Bozanic, Irene Malvestio, Fleur Zeldenrust, Kerstin Lenk, Thomas Kreuz
BACKGROUND: Measures of spike train synchrony are widely used in both experimental and computational neuroscience. Time-scale independent and parameter-free measures, such as the ISI-distance, the SPIKE-distance and SPIKE-synchronization, are preferable to time scale parametric measures, since by adapting to the local firing rate they take into account all the time scales of a given dataset. NEW METHOD: In data containing multiple time scales (e.g. regular spiking and bursts) one is typically less interested in the smallest time scales and a more adaptive approach is needed...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Samuel D Butensky, Andrew P Sloan, Eric Meyers, Jason B Carmel
BACKGROUND: Hand function is critical for independence, and neurological injury often impairs dexterity. To measure hand function in people or forelimb function in animals, sensors are employed to quantify manipulation. These sensors make assessment easier and more quantitative and allow automation of these tasks. While automated tasks improve objectivity and throughput, they also produce large amounts of data that can be burdensome to analyze. We created software called Dexterity that simplifies data analysis of automated reaching tasks...
June 3, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
E D Ungar, Y Nevo, H Baram, A Arieli
BACKGROUND: There is interest in using animal-mounted sensors to provide the detailed timeline of domesticated ruminant behaviour on rangelands. NEW METHOD: Working with beef cattle, we evaluated the pedometer-like IceTag device (IceRobotics, Edinburgh, Scotland) that records step events, leg movement and body position (upright versus lying). We used partition analysis to compare behaviour as inferred from the device data with true behaviour as coded at high resolution from carefully synchronized video observations of 5-min duration...
June 2, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Borbála Hunyadi, Aleksandra Siekierska, Jo Sourbron, Daniëlle Copmans, Peter A M de Witte
BACKGROUND: Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition, with over 30% of cases unresponsive to treatment. Zebrafish larvae show great potential to serve as an animal model of epilepsy in drug discovery. Thanks to their high fecundity and relatively low cost, they are amenable to high-throughput screening. However, the assessment of seizure occurrences in zebrafish larvae remains a bottleneck, as visual analysis is subjective and time-consuming. NEW METHOD: For the first time, we present an automated algorithm to detect epileptic discharges in single-channel local field potential (LFP) recordings in zebrafish...
June 1, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Hiroshi Abe, Toshiki Tani, Hiromi Mashiko, Naohito Kitamura, Naohisa Miyakawa, Koki Mimura, Kazuhisa Sakai, Wataru Suzuki, Tohru Kurotani, Hiroaki Mizukami, Akiya Watakabe, Tetsuo Yamamori, Noritaka Ichinohe
BACKGROUND: The brain of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is becoming a popular non-human primate model in neuroscience research. Because its brain fiber connectivity is still poorly understood, it is necessary to collect and present connection and trajectory data using tracers to establish a marmoset brain connectivity database. NEW METHOD: To visualize projections and trajectories of axons, brain section images were reconstructed in 3D by registering them to the corresponding block-face brain images taken during brain sectioning...
May 31, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Jenna L Gollihue, Samir P Patel, Charlie Mashburn, Khalid C Eldahan, Patrick G Sullivan, Alexander G Rabchevsky
BACKGROUND: Proper mitochondrial function is essential to maintain normal cellular bioenergetics and ionic homeostasis. In instances of severe tissue damage, such as traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, mitochondria become damaged and unregulated leading to cell death. The relatively unexplored field of mitochondrial transplantation following neurotrauma is based on the theory that replacing damaged mitochondria with exogenous respiratory-competent mitochondria can restore overall tissue bioenergetics...
May 26, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Richard E Brown, Sarah Bolivar
BACKGROUND: The behavioural bioassay is fundamental to research in behavioural neuroscience. A described by Tinbergen, behaviour is measured to answer questions about development, mechanisms, adaptation and evolution. NEW METHOD: Chemical assays, bioassays, and behavioural bioassays have been developed for detecting and quantifying substances such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and toxins and for measuring behaviour. RESULTS: This paper begins with an overview of these methods and then focuses on how behavioural bioassays are developed...
May 25, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Craig Weiss, Daniel Procissi, John M Power, John F Disterhoft
BACKGROUND: fMRI requires that subjects not move during image acquisition. This has been achieved by instructing people not to move, or by anesthetizing experimental animal subjects to induce immobility. We have demonstrated that a surgically implanted headbolt onto the skull of a rabbit allows their brain to be imaged comfortably while the animal is awake. This article provides a detailed method for the preparation. NEW METHOD: We took advantage of the rabbit's tolerance for restraint to image the brain while holding the head at the standard stereotaxic angle...
May 25, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
A Kaar, S J Morley, M G Rae
BACKGROUND: Primary culture of postnatal central neurons is a widely used methodology for applications such as the investigation of neuronal development, protein trafficking/distribution and cellular signalling. However, successful production and maintenance of such cultures, particularly from postnatal animals, can be challenging. In attempting to surmount these difficulties, several disparate culturing methodologies have been developed. Such methodologies are centred on the identification and optimisation of critical steps and, as such, the protocols and reagents utilised can differ quite markedly from protocol to protocol, often with the suggestion that the use of a (usually expensive) proprietary reagent(s), lengthy substrate preparation and/or cell isolation techniques is/are necessary for successful culture preparation...
May 22, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Rune Enger
BACKGROUND: Immunogold cytochemistry is the method of choice for precise localization of antigens on a subcellular scale. The process of immunogold quantification in electron micrographs is laborious, especially for proteins with a dense distribution pattern. NEW METHODS: Here I present a MATLAB based toolbox that is optimized for a typical immunogold analysis workflow. It combines automatic detection of gold particles through a multi-threshold algorithm with manual segmentation of cell membranes and regions of interests...
May 18, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Mikiko Hirahara, Naoshi Fujiwara, Kenji Seo
BACKGROUND: The trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) plays a critical role in transmission and modulation of nociceptive afferent inputs, and exhibits a similar layer construction to the spinal dorsal horn. However, afferent inputs enter the brainstem and project to a separately located nucleus. It has previously been difficult to record responses of the Vc to afferent fiber activation in a brainstem slice preparation. The aim of the present study was to establish a novel brainstem slice preparation method to study trigeminal nociceptive transmission mechanisms...
May 15, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
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