An Injury paradigm to investigate central nervous system repair in Drosophila

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

An experimental method has been developed to investigate the cellular responses to central nervous system (CNS) injury using the fruit-fly Drosophila. Understanding repair and regeneration in animals is a key question in biology. The damaged human CNS does not regenerate, and understanding how to promote regeneration is one of main goals of medical neuroscience. The powerful genetic toolkit of Drosophila can be used to tackle the problem of CNS regeneration.
A lesion to the CNS ventral nerve cord (VNC, equivalent to the vertebrate spinal cord) is applied manually with a tungsten needle. The VNC can subsequently be filmed in time-lapse using laser scanning confocal microscopy for up to 24 hours to follow the development of the lesion over time. Alternatively, it can be cultured, then fixed and stained using immunofluorescence to visualise neuron and glial cells with confocal microscopy. Using appropriate markers, changes in cell morphology and cell state as a result of injury can be visualized. With ImageJ and purposely developed plug-ins, quantitative and statisical analyses can be carried out to measure changes in wound size over time and the effects of injury in cell proliferation and cell death. These methods allow the analysis of large sample sizes. They can be combined with the powerful genetics of Drosophila to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying CNS regeneration and repair.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50306
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume73
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Drosophila, repair , CNS, regeneration, Repo, glia, larva

ASJC Scopus subject areas