Characterization of Neural Enzyme Development in Dissociated Chick Embryo Brain Cell Cultures

  • Antonia Vernadakis
  • Ellen B. Arnold
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 27)


The present study characterizes the in vitro development of certain neural marker enzymes in dissociated cell cultures of embryonic chick brain. In cultures of cerebral hemispheres (CH) from 6- and 10-day-old embryos, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity declined with age in culture, a phenomenon which may be related to increasing growth of non-neuronal cells in culture. Choline acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in cultures from 10-day-old embryos, except for a decline between 7 to 11 days, increased with age in culture. The development of CAT activity suggests non-neuronal influences on the expression of CAT activity. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity increases at later periods in culture than does CAT and may reflect enhanced differentiation of adrenergic neurons by cholinergic influences, or by glial or other non-neuronal cells. The differential maturational patterns of CAT and TH in vitro are also observed in vivo, suggesting that the biochemical development of dissociated brain cell cultures exhibits similarities to the biochemical development of the brain.


Nerve Growth Factor Tyrosine Hydroxylase Chick Embryo Cerebral Hemisphere AChE Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonia Vernadakis
    • 1
  • Ellen B. Arnold
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and PharmacologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineDenverUSA

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