Systems Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 404 Views Jul 5, 2024

Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) is a syndrome defined as cognitive decline caused by vascular disease and is associated with various types of dementia. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is one of the major contributors to VCI. Among the various rodent models used to study CCH-induced VCI, we have found the mouse bilateral common carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) model to be highly suitable. Here, we introduce the BCAS model of C57BL/6J mice generated using microcoils with an internal diameter of 0.18 mm. To produce the mouse BCAS model, the bilateral common carotid arteries are isolated from the adhering tissues and vagus nerves and twined around the microcoils. This model shows cognitive impairment and white matter lesions preceding neuronal dysfunction around postoperative day 28, which is similar to the human clinical picture. Overall, the mouse BCAS model will continue to be useful in studying CCH-induced VCI.

0 Q&A 4072 Views Dec 5, 2019
Mechanomics, the mechanics equivalent of genomics, is a burgeoning field studying mechanical modulation of stem cell behavior and lineage commitment. Analogous to mechanical testing of a living material as it adapts and evolves, mapping of the mechanome necessitates the development of new protocols to assess changes in structure and function in live stem cells as they adapt and differentiate. Previous techniques have relied on imaging of cellular structures in fixed cells and/or live cell imaging of single cells with separate studies of changes in mechanical and biological properties. Here we present two complementary protocols to study mechanobiology and mechanoadaptation of live stem cells in adherent and motile contexts. First, we developed and tested live imaging protocols for simultaneous visualization and tracking of actin and tubulin mechanoadaptation as well as shape and volume of cells and their nuclei in adherent model embryonic murine mesenchymal stem cells (C3H/10T1/2) and in a neuroblastoma cell line. Then we applied the protocol to enable quantitative study of primary human mesenchymal stem cells in a motile state, e.g., ingression in a three-dimensional, in vitro cell culture model. Together, these protocols enable study of emergent structural mechanoadaptation of the cell's own cytoskeletal machinery while tracking lineage commitment using phenotypic (quantitative morphology measures) and genotypic (e.g., reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, rtPCR) methods. These tools are expected to facilitate the mapping of the mechanome and incipient mechanistic understanding of stem cell mechanobiology, from the cellular to the tissue and organ length scales.

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