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0 Q&A 838 Views Oct 20, 2022

When understanding the neuronal function of a specific neural circuit, single-cell level photoablation of a targeted cell is one of the useful experimental approaches. This protocol describes a method to photoablate specific motor neurons via the mini singlet oxygen generator (miniSOG2), a light–oxygen–voltage (LOV)-based optogenetic tool used for ablating targeted cells in arbitrary areas. MiniSOG2 could induce the cell death pathway by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon blue light illumination. Photoablation of a specific cell using the miniSOG2 was performed to show that, in Ciona intestinalis type A (Ciona robusta), a single pair of motor neurons, MN2/A10.64, is necessary to drive their tail muscle contraction. The membrane targeted miniSOG2 combined with neuron-specific promoter (pSP-Neurog::miniSOG2-CAAX) was electroplated into the Ciona egg and transiently expressed at specific neurons of the embryo. MN2 labeled with pSP-Neurog:mCherry-CAAX was irradiated using a 440-nm laser from the lateral side for 10 min to ablate its neural function. The behavior of the embryo before and after the irradiation was recorded with a high-speed camera.

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0 Q&A 4752 Views Sep 20, 2019
Developing axons change responsiveness to guidance cues during the journey to synapse with target cells. Axon crossing at the ventral midline serves as a model for studying how axons accomplish such a switch in their response. Although primary neuron culture has been a versatile technique for elucidating various developmental mechanisms, many in vivo characteristics of neurons, such as long axon-extending abilities and axonal compartments, are not thoroughly preserved. In explant cultures, such properties of differentiated neurons and tissue architecture are maintained. To examine how the midline repellent Slit regulated the distribution of the Robo receptor in spinal cord commissural axons upon midline crossing and whether Robo trafficking machinery was a determinant of midline crossing, novel explant culture systems were developed. We have combined an “open-book” spinal cord explant method with that devised for flat-mount retinae. Here we present our protocol for explant culture of embryonic mouse spinal cords, which allows flexible manipulation of experimental conditions, immunostaining of extending axons and quantitative analysis of individual axons. In addition, we present a modified method that combines ex vivo electroporation and “closed-book” spinal cord explant culture. These culture systems provide new platforms for detailed analysis of axon guidance, by adapting gene knockdown, knockout and genome editing.
0 Q&A 15021 Views Jun 5, 2016
In utero electroporation (IUE) of mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells allows high expression levels of transgenes without toxicity (Nishiyama et al., 2012). This technique is suitable for co-transfection of multiple plasmid genes. Therefore, it is useful to express various sets of genes such as drug-inducible Cre/loxP constructs and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing constructs (Takeo et al., 2015). Murine Purkinje cells arise from subventricular zone of fourth ventricle at embryonic day (E) 10-12. IUE at E11.5 into fourth ventricle results the most efficient transfection into Purkinje cells.

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