In vitro survival of neurones isolated from adult mammalian brain is normally scarce and the postnatal age limit for obtaining viable cultures of cortical, hippocampal and diencephalic neurones is commonly two weeks. Here we describe a novel procedure for the establishment and long-term maintenance of cortical neurones of the adult mammalian brain in low-density cultures. Neurones isolated from the piriform cortex of 30- to 90-day-old guinea-pigs were initially grown in a chemically defined medium enriched with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF); later, a small quantity of foetal bovine serum (FBS) was added to facilitate cell differentiation. Under these conditions cells could be maintained in culture for at least 3 weeks, when indirect immunocytochemistry and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed. Cells exhibiting neuronal morphology expressed the neuronal marker microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP2) and generated action potentials. Moreover, about 70% of the MAP2-immunoreactive cells were simultaneously labelled with anti-γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antibody. Cells expressing neuronal antigens were never labelled by antibody raised against the glial marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). These results indicate that long-term survival of adult neurones can be achieved under definite culture conditions.
- Cultures from adult mammalian brain
- Neuronal cultures
- Piriform cortex
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