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J Vis Exp. 2014 Jul 7;(89). doi: 10.3791/51756.

Live imaging of Drosophila larval neuroblasts.

Author information

1
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.
2
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health; nasser@nih.gov.

Abstract

Stem cells divide asymmetrically to generate two progeny cells with unequal fate potential: a self-renewing stem cell and a differentiating cell. Given their relevance to development and disease, understanding the mechanisms that govern asymmetric stem cell division has been a robust area of study. Because they are genetically tractable and undergo successive rounds of cell division about once every hour, the stem cells of the Drosophila central nervous system, or neuroblasts, are indispensable models for the study of stem cell division. About 100 neural stem cells are located near the surface of each of the two larval brain lobes, making this model system particularly useful for live imaging microscopy studies. In this work, we review several approaches widely used to visualize stem cell divisions, and we address the relative advantages and disadvantages of those techniques that employ dissociated versus intact brain tissues. We also detail our simplified protocol used to explant whole brains from third instar larvae for live cell imaging and fixed analysis applications.

PMID:
25046336
PMCID:
PMC4129452
DOI:
10.3791/51756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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