Isolation of Schwann Cell Precursors from Rodents

  • Rhona Mirsky
  • Kristjan R. JessenEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1739)


Schwann cell precursors are the first defined stage in the generation of Schwann cells from the neural crest and represent the glial cell of embryonic nerves. Highly pure cultures of these cells can be obtained by enzymatic dissociation of nerves dissected from the limbs of 14- or 12-day-old rat and mouse embryos, respectively. Since Schwann cell precursors, unlike Schwann cells, are acutely dependent on axonal signals for survival, they require addition of trophic factors, typically β-neuregulin-1, for maintenance in cell culture. Under these conditions they convert to Schwann cells on schedule, within about 4 days.

Key words

Schwann cells Nerve development Neuregulin Precursors Neural crest 



The work in the laboratory of the authors was supported by the Wellcome Trust (grants 042257/Z/94/Z and 036963/1.5) and the Medical Research Council of Great Britain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell and Developmental BiologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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