Xenopus pp 217-231 | Cite as

Dye Electroporation and Imaging of Calcium Signaling in Xenopus Nervous System

  • Lukas Weiss
  • Thomas Offner
  • Thomas Hassenklöver
  • Ivan ManziniEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1865)


Electroporation is an efficient method of transferring charged macromolecules into living cells in order to study their morphology, function, and connectivity within neuronal networks. Labeling cells with fluorophore-coupled macromolecules can be used to trace projections of whole neuronal ensembles, as well as the fine morphology of single cells. Here, we present a protocol to visualize pre- and postsynaptic components of a sensory relay synapse in the brain, using the olfactory system of Xenopus laevis tadpoles as a model. We apply bulk electroporation to trace projections of receptor neurons from the nose to the brain, and single cell electroporation to visualize the morphology of their synaptic target cells, the mitral-tufted cells. Labeling the receptor neurons with a calcium-sensitive dye allows us to record stimulus-induced presynaptic input to the dendrites of the postsynaptic cells via functional calcium imaging.

Key words

Electroporation Neuronal tracing Single cell morphology Fluorescent dyes Calcium imaging In vivo imaging Xenopus laevis Olfactory system Olfactory receptor neurons Mitral-tufted cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lukas Weiss
    • 1
  • Thomas Offner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas Hassenklöver
    • 1
  • Ivan Manzini
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal Physiology and Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Animal PhysiologyJustus-Liebig-University GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the BrainUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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