Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 2068 Views Dec 20, 2020

Insects rely on the simple but effective innate immune system to combat infection. Cellular and humoral responses are interconnected and synergistic in insects’ innate immune system. Phagocytosis is one major cellular response. It is difficult to collect clean hemolymph from the small insect like pea aphid. Here, we provide a practicable method for small insects hemocyte phagocytosis assay by taking pea aphid as an example. Furthermore, we provide the protocols for pea aphid rearing and bacterial infection, which offer referential method for related research.

0 Q&A 4797 Views Nov 5, 2019
Controlled differentiation of embryonic stem cells is an essential tool in stem cell research. In this protocol, we describe a simple differentiation protocol involving the induction of embryoid body formation in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) using hanging droplets, followed by differentiation into a neuronal lineage.
0 Q&A 3729 Views Jul 5, 2019
The early embryo of Drosophila melanogaster exists as a rapidly dividing syncytium of nuclei that are transcriptionally silent. Maternally deposited factors are required to awaken the genome and assist in the transition from maternal to zygotic control of development. Because many of these essential factors are maternally deposited and the early nuclear divisions are so rapid, it has been difficult to assess the functional role of transcription factors at discrete points in early embryonic development. To address this issue, we have developed an optogenetic system that can rapidly and reversibly inactivate transcription factors with nuclear-cycle resolution. The temporal precision enabled by this technique will allow a mechanistic understanding of how transcription factors function together to control genome activation and patterning in the early embryo and is likely broadly applicable to factors throughout embryogenesis.
0 Q&A 6965 Views May 20, 2019
Mitochondrial function and dysfunction are at the core of aging and involved in many age-dependent diseases. Rate of oxygen consumption is a measure of mitochondrial function and energy production rate. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers an opportunity to study “living” mitochondria without the need for mitochondrial extraction, purification and associated artifacts. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR) is traditionally measured using single-chamber Clark electrodes with or without the addition of metabolic modulators. More recently, multi-well oxygen electrodes with automated injection system have been developed to enable rapid measurement of OCR under different conditions. Here, we describe a detailed protocol that we have adapted from existing protocols to measure coupled and uncoupled mitochondrial respiration (with and without metabolic modulators) in live respiring nematodes using a Seahorse XFe96 extracellular flux analyzer. We present details on our protocol, including preparation of nematode culture, use of metabolic modulators, execution of Seahorse XF assay as well as post-experimental data analysis. As a reference, we provide results of a series of experiments in which the metabolic activity of N2 wild-type nematodes was compared to N2 nematode treated with paraquat, a compound that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus causing oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. These data illustrate the kind of insights that can be obtained even using a low number of nematodes (10 animals only per well).
0 Q&A 4780 Views Dec 20, 2018
Eimeria vermiformis is a tissue specific, intracellular protozoan that infects the murine small intestinal epithelia, which has been widely used as a coccidian model to study mucosal immunology. This mouse infection model is valuable to investigate the mechanisms of host protection against primary and secondary infection in the small intestine. Here, we describe the generation of an E. vermiformis stock solution, preparation of sporulated E. vermiformis to infect mice and determination of oocysts burden. This protocol should help to establish a highly reproducible natural infection challenge model to study immunity in the small intestine. The information obtained from using this mouse model can reveal fundamental mechanisms of interaction between the pathogen and the immune response, e.g., provided by intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) at the basolateral site of epithelial cells but also a variety of other immune cell populations present in the gut.
0 Q&A 5571 Views Oct 5, 2018
In the last years, planarians have emerged as a unique model animal for studying regeneration and stem cells biology. Although their remarkable regenerative abilities are known for a long time, only recently the molecular tools to understand the biology of planarian stem cells and the fundamentals of their regenerative process have been established. This boost is due to the availability of a sequenced genome and the development of new technologies, such as interference RNA and next-generation sequencing, which facilitate studies of planarian regeneration at the molecular and genetic level. For these reasons, maintain a healthy and stable planarian population in the laboratory is essential to perform reproducible experiments. Here we detail the protocol used in our laboratory to maintain the planarian species Schmidtea mediterranea, the most widespread as a model.

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