Nucleofection of whole murine retinas.

Gomez-Touriño IM, Senra A, Garcia F.
Source: Cytotechnology
Publication Date: (2012)
Issue: 100: 1
Research Area:
Dermatology/Tissue Engineering
Basic Research
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
mouse P-15-20 retina neurons, neuron solution and neuron specific optimization
The mouse retina constitutes an important research model for studies aiming to unravel the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying ocular diseases. The accessibility of this tissue and its feasibility to directly obtain neurons from it has increased the number of studies culturing mouse retina, mainly retinal cell suspensions. However, to address many questions concerning retinal diseases and protein function, the organotypic structure must be maintained, so it becomes important to devise methods to transfect and culture whole retinas without disturbing their cellular structure. Moreover, the postmitotic stage of retinal neurons makes them reluctant to commonly used transfection techniques. For this purpose some published methods employ in vivo virus-based transfection techniques or biolistics, methods that present some constraints. Here we report for the first time a method to transfect P15-P20 whole murine retinas via nucleofection, where nucleic acids are directly delivered to the cell nuclei, allowing in vitro transfection of postmitotic cells. A detailed protocol for successful retina extraction, organotypic culture, nucleofection, histological procedures and imaging is described. In our hands the A-33 nucleofector program shows the highest transfection efficiency. Whole flat-mount retinas and cryosections from transfected retinas were imaged by epifluorescence and confocal microscopy, showing that not only cells located in the outermost retinal layers, but also those in inner retinal layers are transfected. In conclusion, we present a novel method to successfully transfect postnatal whole murine retina via nucleofection, showing that retina can be successfully nucleofected after some optimization steps.