Here we provide a detailed step-by-step protocol for using lentivirus to manipulate miRNA expression in Area X of juvenile zebra finches and for analyzing the consequences on song learning and song performance. This protocol has four parts: 1) making the lentiviral construct to overexpress miRNA miR-9; 2) packaging the lentiviral vector; 3) stereotaxic injection of the lentivirus into Area X of juvenile zebra finches; 4) analysis of song learning and song performance in juvenile and adult zebra finches. These methods complement the methods employed in recent works that showed changing FoxP2 gene expression in Area X with lentivirus or adeno-associated virus leads to impairments in song behavior.
Shi, Zhimin; Tchernichovski, Ofer; and Li, XiaoChing, "Studying the Mechanisms of Developmental Vocal Learning and Adult Vocal Performance in Zebra Finches through Lentiviral Injection" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.