The Use of Reaggregating Cell Cultures And Immortalized Central Nervous System Cells to Study Cholinergic Trophic Mechanisms

  • B. H. Wainer
  • H. J. Lee
  • J. D. Roback
  • D. N. Hammond
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 36)


A salient feature of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases is the selective vulnerability of particular neural pathways. Since the development and maintenance of neural connections is supported by neural trophic factors, trophic dysfunction represents one possible pathogenetic mechanism for such neurological and age-associated diseases. This laboratory has utilized primary reaggregating cell cultures and developed immortalized central nervous system cell lines to study the trophic interactions that establish and maintain the septohippocampal pathway, which plays an essential role in cognitive function and is prominently affected in Alzheimer’s Disease. The results of the primary cell culture studies have demonstrated the importance of trophic signals elaborated by the hippocampus in mediating the development of septal cholinergic neurons. Nerve growth factor plays an important trophic role in this pathway, but it cannot account for all of the effects of authentic hippocampal target cells. The development of clonal cell lines of septal and hippocampal lineage offers the prospect of investigating both the response to and elaboration of neural trophic signals at a more precise level of resolution than can be achieved with primary cultures. In addition, one of the hippocampal-derived cell lines, HN10, expresses what appears to be a novel cholinergic trophic activity. These cell lines represent a potential source for isolation of such factors, and also a potential “delivery system” via neural grafting techniques. The technology and information that are generated from these investigations will serve as a strategy to study trophic interactions in other brain circuits in future years, and to investigate possible changes or dysfunctions that occur both in the aging brain and in age-associated brain diseases.


Nerve Growth Factor ChAT Activity Septal Cell Nerve Growth Factor Expression Exogenous Nerve Growth Factor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. H. Wainer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • H. J. Lee
    • 1
  • J. D. Roback
    • 2
  • D. N. Hammond
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacological and Physiological SciencesThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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