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Andrea J Santamaría, Juan P Solano, Francisco D Benavides, James D Guest
Cell transplant-mediated tissue repair of the damaged spinal cord is being tested in several clinical trials. The current candidates are neural stem cells, stromal cells, and autologous Schwann cells (aSC). Due to their peripheral origin and limited penetration of astrocytic regions, aSC are transplanted intralesionally as compared to neural stem cells that are transplanted into intact spinal cord. Injections into either location can cause iatrogenic injury, and thus technical precision is important in the therapeutic risk-benefit equation...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Christine D Plant, Giles W Plant
Schwann cells are the primary inducers of regeneration of the peripheral nervous system. Schwann cells can be isolated from adult peripheral nerves, expanded in large numbers, and genetically transduced by viral vectors in vitro prior to their use in vivo. Here we describe how to use lentiviral vectors to transduce primary Schwann cells in vitro. We also describe how cultured Schwann cells can be used in conjunction with decellularized peripheral nerve sheaths prepared by multiple freeze thawing of peripheral nerve tissue...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Christine D Plant, Giles W Plant
Biomaterials can be utilized to assist in the transplantation of Schwann cells to the central and peripheral nervous system. The biomaterials can be natural or man-made, and can have preformed shapes or injectable formats. Biomaterials can play multiple roles in cellular transplantation; for example, they can assist with cellular integration and protect Schwann cells from cell death initiated by the lack of a substrate, an occurrence known as "anoikis." In addition, biomaterials can be engineered to increase cell proliferation and differentiation by the addition of ligands bound to the substrate...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Ying Dai, Caitlin E Hill
Adult Schwann cells (SCs) can provide both a permissive substrate for axonal growth and a source of cells to ensheath and myelinate axons when transplanted into the injured spinal cord. Multiple studies have demonstrated that SC transplants can be used as part of a combinatorial approach to repairing the injured spinal cord. Here, we describe the protocols for collection and transplantation of adult rat primary SCs into the injured spinal cord. Protocols are included for the tissue culture procedures necessary for collection, quantification, and suspension of the cells for transplantation and for the surgical procedures for spinal cord injury at thoracic level nine (T9), reexposure of the injury site for delayed transplantation, and injection of the cells into the spinal cord...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Rebecca L Cunningham, Kelly R Monk
The optical transparency of zebrafish larvae enables live imaging. Here we describe the methodology for live imaging and detail how to mount larvae for live imaging of Schwann cell development.
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Rebecca L Cunningham, Kelly R Monk
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) enables visualization of the ultrastructure of the myelin sheath. Schwann cells on the posterior lateral line nerves and motor nerves can be imaged by TEM. Here, we detail the multiday processing of larval trunks and dissected posterior lateral line for TEM, as well as how to trim embedded samples, section, and stain grids for imaging.
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Rebecca L Cunningham, Kelly R Monk
In situ hybridization enables visualization of mRNA localization, and immunohistochemistry enables visualization of protein localization within a tissue or organism. Both techniques have been extensively utilized in zebrafish (Thisse et al., Development 119:1203-1215, 1993; Dutton et al., Development 128:4113-4125, 2001; Gilmour et al., Neuron 34:577-588, 2002; Lyons et al., Curr Biol 15:513-524, 2005) including for visualization of mRNA localization in Schwann cells (Lyons et al., Curr Biol 15:513-524, 2005; Monk et al...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Mario A Saporta, Renata de Moraes Maciel
The human skin is richly innervated by nerve fibers of different calibers and functions, including thickly myelinated large fibers that act as afferents for mechanoreceptors in the dermal papillae. Skin biopsies offer minimally invasive access to these myelinated fibers, in which each internode represents an individual myelinating Schwann cell. Using this approach, human myelinated nerve fibers can be analyzed by several methods, including immunostaining, morphometric and ultrastructural analysis, and molecular biology techniques...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Xin-Peng Dun, David B Parkinson
Injury to the peripheral nervous system triggers a series of well-defined events within both neurons and the Schwann cells to allow efficient axonal regeneration, remyelination, and functional repair. The study of these events has previously been done using sections of nerve material to analyze axonal regrowth, cell migration, and immune cell infiltration following injury. This approach, however, has the obvious disadvantage that it is not possible to follow, for instance, the path of regenerating axons in three dimensions within the nerve trunk or the nerve bridge...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Alejandra Catenaccio, Felipe A Court
Glial cells regulate a wide variety of neuronal functions during physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore, the study of glial cells and their association with axons is of paramount importance in order to understand the physiology of the nervous system. This chapter describes a detailed protocol to prepare and stain teased nerve fibers from peripheral nerves using fluorescent indirect immunolabeling and staining with vital dyes. For immunofluorescence analysis, we describe techniques to study the axonal compartment and the expression of cytoplasmic and plasma membrane proteins in Schwann cells...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Laura Fangmann, Steffen Teller, Pavel Stupakov, Helmut Friess, Güralp O Ceyhan, Ihsan Ekin Demir
In pancreatic cancer, neural invasion is one of the most common paths of cancer dissemination. Classically, cancer cells actively invade nerves and cause local recurrence and pain. Three-dimensional (3D) neural migration assay has become a standard tool for scientists to study neural invasion by confronting the involved cell types. This protocol introduces Schwann cells, i.e., the most prevalent cell type in peripheral nerves, in a novel heterotypic, glia-cancer-neuron, 3D migration assay for assessing their relevance in the early pathogenesis of neural invasion...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Cristian De Gregorio, Paula Díaz, Rodrigo López-Leal, Patricio Manque, Felipe A Court
Exosomes are small (30-150 nm) vesicles of endosomal origin secreted by most cell types. Exosomes contain proteins, lipids, and RNA species including microRNA, mRNA, rRNA, and long noncoding RNAs. The mechanisms associated with exosome synthesis and cargo loading are still poorly understood. A role for exosomes in intercellular communication has been reported in physiological and pathological conditions both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have suggested that Schwann cell-derived exosomes regulate neuronal functions, but the mechanisms are still unclear...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Mateusz M Urbanski, Carmen V Melendez-Vasquez
Extracellular matrix (ECM) elasticity may direct cellular differentiation and can be modeled in vitro using synthetic ECM-like substrates with defined elastic properties. However, the effectiveness of such approaches depends on the selection of a range of elasticity and ECM ligands that accurately model the relevant tissue. Here, we present a cell culture system than can be used to study Schwann cell differentiation on substrates which model the changes in mechanical ECM properties that occur during sciatic nerve development...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Susana R Cerqueira, Yee-Shuan Lee, Mary Bartlett Bunge
In vitro models using Schwann cell and astrocyte co-cultures have been used to understand the mechanisms underlying the formation of boundaries between these cells in vivo. Schwann cell/astrocyte co-cultures also mimic the in vivo scenario of a transplant in a spinal cord injury site, thereby allowing testing of therapeutic approaches. In this chapter, we describe a triple cell culture system with Schwann cells, astrocytes, and neurons that replicates axon growth from a Schwann cell graft into an astrocyte-rich region...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Rodrigo López-Leal, Paula Diaz, Felipe A Court
Sensory neurons from dorsal root ganglion efficiently regenerate after peripheral nerve injuries. These neurons are widely used as a model system to study degenerative mechanisms of the soma and axons, as well as regenerative axonal growth in the peripheral nervous system. This chapter describes techniques associated to the study of axonal degeneration and regeneration using explant cultures of dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons in vitro in the presence or absence of Schwann cells. Schwann cells are extremely important due to their involvement in tissue clearance during axonal degeneration as well as their known pro-regenerative effect during regeneration in the peripheral nervous system...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Yannick Poitelon, M Laura Feltri
In the peripheral nervous system, axons dictate the differentiation state of Schwann cells. Most of this axonal influence on Schwann cells is due to juxtacrine interactions between axonal transmembrane molecules (e.g., the neuregulin growth factor) and receptors on the Schwann cell (e.g., the ErbB2/ErbB3 receptor). The fleeting nature of this interaction together with the lack of synchronicity in the development of the Schwann cell population limits our capability to study this phenomenon in vivo. Here we present a simple Boyden Chamber-based method to study this important cell-cell interaction event...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Paula V Monje
This chapter describes protocols to establish simplified in vitro assays of Schwann cell (SC) differentiation in the absence of neurons. The assays are based on the capacity of isolated primary SCs to increase or decrease the expression of myelination-associated genes in response to the presence or absence of cell permeable analogs of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). No special conditions of media or substrates beyond the administration or removal of cAMP analogs are required to obtain a synchronous response on differentiation and dedifferentiation...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Vania W Almeida, Margaret L Bates, Mary Bartlett Bunge
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) enables a unique and valuable examination of cellular and extracellular elements in tissue in situ, in cultured cells, or in pellets derived from suspensions of cells or other materials such as nanoparticles. Here we focus on the preparation of cultured Schwann cells or Schwann cell-containing dorsal root ganglion cultures. To gain as life-like as possible views of the cellular details, it is imperative to achieve excellent preservation of the cellular structure. The steps in the preparation of cultures described in this chapter represent the results of many years of accumulated TEM images to find the best methods of preservation for Schwann cells, myelin, and basal lamina components...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Corey Heffernan, Patrice Maurel
Lentiviral transduction is a gene delivery method that provides numerous advantages over direct transfection and traditional retroviral or adenoviral delivery methods. It facilitates for the transduction of primary cells inherently difficult to transfect, delivers constructs of interest to nondividing as well as dividing cells, and permits the long-term expression of sizable DNA inserts (e.g., <7 kb). The study of peripheral nerve myelination at the molecular level has long benefited from the Schwann cells/dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons myelinating co-culture system...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Alejandra M Petrilli, Cristina Fernández-Valle
Schwannomas are benign nerve tumors that occur sporadically in the general population and in those with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a tumor predisposition genetic disorder. NF2-associated schwannomas and most sporadic schwannomas are caused by inactivating mutations in Schwann cells in the neurofibromatosis type 2 gene (NF2) that encodes the merlin tumor suppressor. Despite their benign nature, schwannomas and especially vestibular schwannomas cause considerable morbidity. The primary available therapies are surgery or radiosurgery which usually lead to loss of function of the compromised nerve...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
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