Article: article from journal or magazin.
Preparation, maintenance, and use of serum-free aggregating brain cell cultures.
Methods in Molecular Biology
Serum-free aggregating brain cell cultures are free-floating three-dimensional primary cell cultures able to reconstitute spontaneously a histotypic brain architecture to reproduce critical steps of brain development and to reach a high level of structural and functional maturity. This culture system offers, therefore, a unique model for neurotoxicity testing both during the development and at advanced cellular differentiation, and the high number of aggregates available combined with the excellent reproducibility of the cultures facilitates routine test procedures. This chapter presents a detailed description of the preparation, maintenance, and use of these cultures for neurotoxicity studies and a comparison of the developmental characteristics between cultures derived from the telencephalon and cultures derived from the whole brain. For culture preparation, mechanically dissociated embryonic brain tissue is used. The initial cell suspension, composed of neural stem cells, neural progenitor cells, immature postmitotic neurons, glioblasts, and microglial cells, is kept in a serum-free, chemically defined medium under continuous gyratory agitation. Spherical aggregates form spontaneously and are maintained in suspension culture for several weeks. Within the aggregates, the cells rearrange and mature, reproducing critical morphogenic events, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, synaptogenesis, and myelination. For experimentation, replicate cultures are prepared by the randomization of aggregates from several original flasks. The high yield and reproducibility of the cultures enable multiparametric endpoint analyses, including "omics" approaches.
Animals, Brain/cytology, Cell Aggregation, Cell Culture Techniques, Cells, Cultured, Culture Media, Serum-Free, Embryo, Mammalian/cytology, Female, Neurons/cytology, Pregnancy, Rats
Web of science
Last modification date