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Isolating and Culturing of Precursor Cells from the Adult Human Brain

  • Florian A. Siebzehnrubl
  • Dennis A. Steindler
Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1059)

Abstract

Adult neural precursor cells are an essential part of the brain, and a focus of two decades of intense research (Ming and Song, Neuron 70:687–702, 2011). Even though adult human stem/progenitor cells have been identified early on (Kirschenbaum et al., Cereb Cortex 4:576–589, 1994; Eriksson et al., Nat Med 4:1313–1317, 1998), progress in the field of adult human neurogenesis has been slow. The reasons for this may be more advanced neighboring fields of pluripotent stem cell research, and lacking study material as well as well-established and standardized protocols. Furthermore, adult precursor cells in humans seem to have greater potential than in rodents (Walton et al., Development 133:3671–3681, 2006). This may be attributed to species differences in astrocyte development and diversity (Oberheim et al., Neurosci 29:3276–3287, 2009).

In this chapter, we provide a guideline for adult human brain tissue dissociation, be it from biopsy or autopsy specimens. This is by no means the only way of culturing adult neural precursor cells, but it may help in streamlining research on this fascinating topic, as well as help introducing others into this field. We describe our methodology for establishing and maintaining long-term cultures from white and grey matter, as well as a simple protocol for differentiating these cells.

Key words

Stem cell Human Brain Cell culture Precursor Adult 

References

  1. 1.
    Ming GL, Song H (2011) Adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain: significant answers and significant questions. Neuron 70:687–702PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kirschenbaum B et al (1994) In vitro neuronal production and differentiation by precursor cells derived from the adult human forebrain. Cereb Cortex 4:576–589PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Eriksson PS et al (1998) Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nat Med 4:1313–1317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Walton NM et al (2006) Derivation and large-scale expansion of multipotent astroglial neural progenitors from adult human brain. Development 133:3671–3681PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Oberheim NA et al (2009) Uniquely hominid features of adult human astrocytes. J Neurosci 29:3276–3287PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian A. Siebzehnrubl
    • 1
  • Dennis A. Steindler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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