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Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Emilie Pacary, François Guillemot
Brain electroporation is a rapid and powerful approach to study neuronal development. In particular, this technique has become a method of choice for studying the process of radial migration of projection neurons in the embryonic cerebral cortex. This method has considerably helped to describe in detail the different steps of radial migration and to characterize the molecular mechanisms controlling this process. Delineating the complexities of neuronal migration is critical to our understanding not only of normal cerebral cortex formation but also of neurodevelopmental disorders resulting from neuronal migration defects...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Candice A Gellner, Daisy D Reynaga, Frances M Leslie
Animal models are used to study many human diseases, one of which is tobacco addiction. Most preclinical models use nicotine alone, although there are >7000 constituents present in tobacco smoke. The clinical literature suggests that cigarettes have a strong addictive potential, which is not paralleled in preclinical studies using nicotine alone. In order to address the gap between clinical and preclinical literature on tobacco dependence, cigarette smoke extracts containing tobacco constituents have been developed...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Anne Marie Brady
Animal models are crucial to the study of the neurobiological bases of psychiatric disorders, but schizophrenia is a particularly challenging disorder to model given the complexity and heavily verbal nature of its symptoms. This unit describes a developmental surgical rodent model of schizophrenia, the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) model. This widely used model produces reliable behavioral abnormalities that are comparable to those observed in patients, as well as anatomical and neurophysiological disruptions in forebrain areas that are also implicated in schizophrenia...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Dara L Dickstein, Daniel R Dickstein, William G M Janssen, Patrick R Hof, Jacob R Glaser, Alfredo Rodriguez, Nate O'Connor, Paul Angstman, Susan J Tappan
Determining the density and morphology of dendritic spines is of high biological significance given the role of spines in synaptic plasticity and in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Precise quantification of spines in three dimensions (3D) is essential for understanding the structural determinants of normal and pathological neuronal function. However, this quantification has been restricted to time- and labor-intensive methods such as electron microscopy and manual counting, which have limited throughput and are impractical for studies of large samples...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
T Gregg Davis
The ability to assess the potential for gastrointestinal adverse events in a preclinical setting is a challenge in the development of new drugs, as the vast majority of in vivo research is conducted in rodent species lacking a vomiting reflex. The use of higher species capable of emesis is often limited by cost, technical experience, and relevant efficacy models to define a therapeutic index. Additionally, investigators should be mindful of ethical considerations when using more sentient species when an alternative in lower species is available...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Laurent Mouchiroud, Vincenzo Sorrentino, Evan G Williams, Matteo Cornaglia, Michael V Frochaux, Tao Lin, Amandine A Nicolet-Dit-Félix, Gopal Krishnamani, Tarik Ouhmad, Martin A M Gijs, Bart Deplancke, Johan Auwerx
Phenotyping strategies in simple model organisms such as D. melanogaster and C. elegans are often broadly limited to growth, aging, and fitness. Recently, a number of physical setups and video tracking software suites have been developed to allow for accurate, quantitative, and high-throughput analysis of movement in flies and worms. However, many of these systems require precise experimental setups and/or fixed recording formats. We report here an update to the Parallel Worm Tracker software, which we termed the Movement Tracker...
October 3, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
W Scott Young, June Song, Éva Mezey
Expression of genes is manifested by the production of RNA transcripts within cells. Hybridization histochemistry (or in situ hybridization) permits localization of these transcripts with cellular resolution or better. Furthermore, the relative amounts of transcripts detected in different tissues or in the same tissues in different states (e.g., physiological or developmental) may be quantified. This unit describes hybridization histochemical techniques using either oligodeoxynucleotide probes (see Basic Protocols 1 and 2, Alternate Protocol 1) or RNA probes (riboprobes; see Basic Protocols 3 and 5)...
April 8, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Christopher J Heath, Benjamin U Phillips, Timothy J Bussey, Lisa M Saksida
This unit is designed to facilitate implementation of the fixed and progressive ratio paradigms and the effort-related choice task in the rodent touchscreen apparatus to permit direct measurement of motivation and reward-related decision making in this equipment. These protocols have been optimized for use in the mouse and reliably yield stable performance levels that can be enhanced or suppressed by systemic pharmacological manipulation. Instructions are also provided for the adjustment of task parameters to permit use in mouse models of neurodegenerative disease...
January 4, 2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Eisuke Koya, Gabriella Margetts-Smith, Bruce T Hope
Learned associations about salient experiences (e.g., drug exposure, stress) and their associated environmental stimuli are mediated by a minority of sparsely distributed, behaviorally activated neurons coined 'neuronal ensembles.' For many years, it was not known whether these neuronal ensembles played causal roles in mediating learned behaviors. However, in the last several years the 'Daun02 inactivation technique' in Fos-lacZ transgenic rats has proved very useful in establishing causal links between neuronal ensembles that express the activity-regulated protein Fos and learned behaviors...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Hassiba Beldjoud, Fany Messanvi, Nael Nadif Kasri, Benno Roozendaal
Histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs), by their action on the chromatin state, play a central role in the regulation of gene expression. The discovery that some PTMs in the brain are dynamically regulated by experience and environmental factors makes them an important subject for the study of plasticity changes in learning and memory, addiction, and psychiatric disorders. Current histone isolation protocols, however, require large amounts of tissue, which limits their application for analyzing small tissue samples from a specific brain region...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Gloria E Hoffman, Kelley J Murphy, Luciane V Sita
When using immunocytochemistry, investigators may not know how to optimize staining or how to troubleshoot the method when staining fails. Lacking are guides for comparing techniques and applying information derived from one staining method to another. Newer methods amplify signal detection, but will not necessarily work at the same primary antibody concentrations used for less sensitive reactions. Recommendations of optimal titers are often not accurate and are not usually accompanied by information on the method used to test those antibodies or the specifics of the assay...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Angela M Yarnell, Erin S Barry, Andrea Mountney, Deborah Shear, Frank Tortella, Neil E Grunberg
Motor and sensory deficits are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although rodent models provide valuable insight into the biological and functional outcomes of TBI, the success of translational research is critically dependent upon proper selection of sensitive, reliable, and reproducible assessments. Published literature includes various observational scales designed to evaluate post-injury functionality; however, the heterogeneity in TBI location, severity, and symptomology can complicate behavioral assessments...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Markus Wöhr, Dominik Seffer, Rainer K W Schwarting
Rats are able to produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). Such USVs are an important component of the rat social behavior repertoire and serve distinct communicative functions as socio-affective signals. Depending on the emotional valence of the situation, juvenile and adult rats utter (1) aversive 22-kHz USVs conveying an appeasing and/or alarming function; or (2) appetitive 50-kHz USVs, which act as social contact calls, amongst others. A 50-kHz USV radial maze playback paradigm that allows assessment of the behavioral responses displayed by the recipients in a highly standardized manner has been developed...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Rita Báldi, Dipanwita Ghosh, Brad A Grueter, Sachin Patel
Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are a class of bioactive lipids that mediate retrograde synaptic modulation at central and peripheral synapses. The highly lipophilic nature of eCBs and the pharmacological tools available to interrogate this system require unique methodological consideration, especially when applied to ex vivo systems such as electrophysiological analysis in acute brain slices. This unit provides protocols for measuring cannabinoid and eCB-mediated synaptic signaling in mouse brain slices, including analysis of short-term, long-term, and tonic eCB signaling modes, and the unique considerations for working with eCBs and TRPV1/cannabinoid ligands in acute brain slices...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Sylvia Tielens, Juliette D Godin, Laurent Nguyen
The cerebral cortex is one of the most intricate regions of the brain that requires elaborate cell migration patterns for its development. Experimental observations show that projection neurons migrate radially within the cortical wall, whereas interneurons migrate along multiple tangential paths to reach the developing cortex. Tight regulation of the cell migration processes ensures proper positioning and functional integration of neurons to specific cerebral cortical circuits. Disruption of neuronal migration often leads to cortical dysfunction and/or malformation associated with neurological disorders...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Natalia H Revelo, Silvio O Rizzoli
mCLING is a fixable endocytosis marker that can be combined with immunolabeling techniques to study the molecular composition of trafficking organelles. mCLING can be used both in cultured cells and in tissue if critical sample preparation steps, such as fixation, are correctly performed. This unit describes protocols for the application of mCLING and for the subsequent sample processing. We include immunostaining protocols and embedding procedures for confocal and high-resolution microscopy.
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Kevin T Beier, Nathan A Mundell, Y Albert Pan, Constance L Cepko
Viruses have been used as transsynaptic tracers, allowing one to map the inputs and outputs of neuronal populations, due to their ability to replicate in neurons and transmit in vivo only across synaptically connected cells. To date, their use has been largely restricted to mammals. In order to explore the use of such viruses in an expanded host range, we tested the transsynaptic tracing ability of recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vectors in a variety of organisms. Successful infection and gene expression were achieved in a wide range of organisms, including vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms...
2016: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Rachel D Penrod, Audrey M Wells, William A Carlezon, Christopher W Cowan
Adeno-associated viruses and the herpes simplex virus are the two most widely used vectors for the in vivo expression of exogenous genes. Advances in the development of these vectors have enabled remarkable temporal and spatial control of gene expression. This unit provides methods for storing, delivering, and verifying expression of adeno-associated and herpes simplex viruses in the adult mouse brain. It also describes important considerations for experiments using in vivo expression of these viral vectors, including serotype and promoter selection, as well as timing of expression...
October 1, 2015: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Johanna Jackson, Alison J Canty, Lieven Huang, Vincenzo De Paola
In vivo two-photon (2P) imaging enables neural circuitry to be repeatedly visualized in both normal conditions and following trauma. This protocol describes how laser-mediated neuronal microlesions can be created in the cerebral cortex using an ultrafast laser without causing a significant inflammatory reaction or compromising the blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, directives are provided for the acute and chronic in vivo imaging of the lesion site, as well as for post-hoc analysis of the lesion site in fixed tissue, which can be correlated with the live imaging phase...
October 1, 2015: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Ronald Paletzki, Charles R Gerfen
Whole-brain reconstruction of the mouse enables comprehensive analysis of the distribution of neurochemical markers, the distribution of anterogradely labeled axonal projections or retrogradely labeled neurons projecting to a specific brain site, or the distribution of neurons displaying activity-related markers in behavioral paradigms. This unit describes a method to produce whole-brain reconstruction image sets from coronal brain sections with up to four fluorescent markers using the freely available image-processing program FIJI (ImageJ)...
October 1, 2015: Current Protocols in Neuroscience
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