Cell sampling and analysis (SiCSA): metabolites measured at single cell resolution.
By using a fine oil-filled glass microcapillary mounted on a micromanipulator, the solutes of individual plant cells can be sampled. These samples can then be analysed using a range of physical and chemical methods. Hydrostatic pressure (cell pressure probe), osmotic pressure (picolitre osmometer), organic solutes (enzyme-linked fluorescence microscope spectrometry or capillary electrophoresis), inorganic solutes (X-ray microdroplet analysis or capillary electrophoresis), (14)C (mass spectrometry), proteins (microdroplet immunoblotting), and mRNA (rt PCR) have been measured. Collectively, the battery of techniques is called single cell sampling and analysis (SiCSA) and all of the techniques have relevance to the study of plant metabolism at the resolution of the individual cell. This review summarizes the techniques for SiCSA and presents examples of applications used in this laboratory, in particular those relating to cell metabolism. (+info)
Nuclear magnetic resonance micro-imaging in the investigation of plant cell metabolism.
Micro-imaging based on nuclear magnetic resonance offers the possibility to map metabolites in plant tissues non-invasively. Major metabolites such as sucrose and amino acids can be observed with high spatial resolution. Stable isotope tracers, such as (13)C-labelled metabolites can be used to measure the in vivo conversion rates in a metabolic network. This review summarizes the different nuclear magnetic resonance micro-imaging techniques that are available to obtain spatially resolved information on metabolites in plants. A short general introduction into NMR imaging techniques is provided. Particular emphasis is given to the difficulties encountered when NMR micro-imaging is applied to plant systems. (+info)
Species-specific, nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism detection of single Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts.
Concurrent with recent advances seen with Cryptosporidium parvum detection in both treated and untreated water is the need to properly evaluate these advances. A micromanipulation method by which known numbers of C. parvum oocysts, even a single oocyst, can be delivered to a test matrix for detection sensitivity is presented. Using newly developed nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism primers, PCR sensitivity was evaluated with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 oocysts. PCR detection rates (50 samples for each number of oocysts) ranged from 38% for single oocysts to 92% for 5 oocysts, while 10 oocysts were needed to achieve 100% detection. The nested PCR conditions amplified products from C. parvum, Cryptosporidium baileyi, and Cryptosporidium serpentis but no other Cryptosporidium sp. or protozoan tested. Restriction enzyme digestion with VspI distinguished between C. parvum genotypes 1 and 2. Restriction enzyme digestion with DraII distinguished C. parvum from C. baileyi and C. serpentis. Use of known numbers of whole oocysts encompasses the difficulty of liberating DNA from the oocyst and eliminates the standard deviation inherent within a dilution series. To our knowledge this is the first report in which singly isolated C. parvum oocysts were used to evaluate PCR sensitivity. This achievement illustrates that PCR amplification of a single oocyst is feasible, yet sensitivity remains an issue, thereby illustrating the difficulty of dealing with low oocyst numbers when working with environmental water samples. (+info)
Application of laser capture microdissection and proteomics in colon cancer.
AIMS: Laser capture microdissection is a recent development that enables the isolation of specific cell types for subsequent molecular analysis. This study describes a method for obtaining proteome information from laser capture microdissected tissue using colon cancer as a model. METHODS: Laser capture microdissection was performed on toluidine blue stained frozen sections of colon cancer. Tumour cells were selectively microdissected. Conditions were established for solubilising proteins from laser microdissected samples and these proteins were separated by two dimensional gel electrophoresis. Individual protein spots were cut from the gel, characterised by mass spectrometry, and identified by database searching. These results were compared with protein expression patterns and mass spectroscopic data obtained from bulk tumour samples run in parallel. RESULTS: Proteins could be recovered from laser capture microdissected tissue in a form suitable for two dimensional gel electrophoresis. The solubilised proteins retained their expected electrophoretic mobility in two dimensional gels as compared with bulk samples, and mass spectrometric analysis was also unaffected. CONCLUSION: A method for performing two dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry using laser capture microdissected tissue has been developed. (+info)
Ultrastructure of the embryonic stem cells of the 8-day pig blastocyst before and after in vitro manipulation: development of junctional apparatus and the lethal effects of PBS mediated cell-cell dissociation.
Ultrastructural examination of 8-day hatched pig blastocysts (large and small), their cultured inner cell mass (ICM), and cultured epiblast tissue (embryonic stem cells) was undertaken to assess the development of epiblast cell junctions and cytoskeletal elements. In small blastocysts, epiblast cells had no desmosomes or tight junction (TJ) connections and few organized microfilament bundles, whereas in large blastocysts the epiblast cells were connected by TJ and desmosomes with associated microfilaments. ICM isolation by immunodissection damaged the endoderm cells beneath the trophectoderm cells but did not appear to damage the epiblast cells or their associated endoderm cells. Epiblast cells in cultured ICMs were similar in character to those in the intact large blastocyst except that perinuclear microfilaments were observed. Isolated pig epiblasts, cultured for approximately 36 hr on STO feeder layers, formed a monolayer whose cells were connected by TJ, adherens junctions and desmosomes with prominent microfilament bundles running parallel to the apical cytoplasmic membranes. Perinuclear microfilaments were a consistent feature in the approximately 36 hr cultured epiblast cells. A feature characteristic of differentiation into notochordal cells, i.e., a solitary cilium, was also observed in the cultured epiblast. Exposure of the cultured epiblast cells to Ca(++)-Mg(++)-free phosphate buffered saline (PBS) for 5-10 min resulted in extensive cell blebbing and lysis. The results may indicate that pig epiblast cells could be more easily dissociated from early blastocysts ( approximately 400 microm in diameter) if immunodissection damage to the ICM can be avoided. It may be difficult, however, to establish them as embryonic stem cell lines because the cultured pig epiblast cells were easily lysed by standard cell-cell dissociation methods. (+info)
Elastic thickness compressibilty of the red cell membrane.
We have used an ultrasensitive force probe and optical interferometry to examine the thickness compressibility of the red cell membrane in situ. Pushed into the centers of washed-white red cell ghosts lying on a coverglass, the height of the microsphere-probe tip relative to its closest approach on the adjacent glass surface revealed the apparent material thickness, which began at approximately 90 nm per membrane upon detection of contact (force approximately 1-2 pN). With further impingement, the apparent thickness per membrane diminished over a soft compliant regime that spanned approximately 40 nm and stiffened on approach to approximately 50 nm under forces of approximately 100 pN. The same force-thickness response was obtained on recompression after retraction of the probe, which demonstrated elastic recoverability. Scaled by circumferences of the microspheres, the forces yielded energies of compression per area which exhibited an inverse distance dependence resembling that expected for flexible polymers. Attributed to the spectrin component of the membrane cytoskeleton, the energy density only reached one thermal energy unit (k(B)T) per spectrin tetramer near maximum compression. Hence, we hypothesized that the soft compliant regime probed in the experiments represented the compressibility of the outer region of spectrin loops and that the stiff regime < 50 nm was the response of a compact mesh of spectrin backed by a hardcore structure. To evaluate this hypothesis, we used a random flight theory for the entropic elasticity of polymer loops to model the spectrin network. We also examined the possibility that additional steric repulsion and apparent thickening could arise from membrane thermal-bending excitations. Fixing the energy scale to k(B)T/spectrin tetramer, the combined elastic response of a network of ideal polymer loops plus the membrane steric interaction correlated well with the measured dependence of energy density on distance for a statistical segment length of approximately 5 nm for spectrin (i.e., free chain end-to-end length of approximately 29 nm) and a hardcore limit of approximately 30 nm for underlying structure. (+info)
Laser zona pellucida thinning--an alternative approach to assisted hatching.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and hatching characteristics of in-vitro cultured human embryos subjected to laser zona pellucida thinning. METHOD: Zona thinning was performed on 110 embryos using a non-contact 1.48 microm diode laser and the hatch rate in vitro was compared with 42 control embryos. Variation of zona thickness and degree of zona expansion was assessed. Scanning electron microscopy was performed on embryos entrapped during hatching to identify the site of hatching. RESULTS: The rate of hatching was significantly higher in laser thinned blastocysts compared with control embryos (68 versus 33% respectively, P < 0.01). Laser thinning increased the variation of zona thickness in embryos from 11.6-27.3%. Natural zona thinning occurred in 92% of laser thinned hatching blastocysts and 100% of control embryos. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that laser zona thinning is effective and may provide significant advantages over conventional assisted hatching techniques, which create holes. (+info)
Developmental consequences of embryo and cell manipulation in mice and farm animals.
Advances in biotechnology in recent decades have revolutionized our understanding of early mammalian development and promise to provide ever more finely tuned and precisely targeted techniques for genetic enhancement of domestic animal species. In demonstrating what is both technically and biologically possible, not only in mice but also in larger animal species, research has provided hope that previously intractable diseases and genetic defects can be successfully combated. Crucial to this research is the ability to culture oocytes, embryos and somatic cells in vitro and to sustain their development without inducing adverse short- or long-term consequences. There is a need to refine current culture strategies in farm animal species to avoid jeopardizing their dependent technologies. A key to resolving current limitations of culture strategies is to identify, acknowledge and then address those features of in vitro culture that compromise early regulation of mammalian development. The aim of this review is to appraise critically in vitro embryo and somatic cell production strategies in the context of their impact on developmental competence and normality at embryonic, fetal and later stages. In addition, effects of physically manipulating embryos and cells, most notably via nuclear and gene transfer technologies, are considered with a view to identifying how detrimental consequences can be avoided. (+info)