Preparation of Substrata for In Vitro Culture of Neurons
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Cell adhesion, cell contact, and intercellular interactions are critical to neuronal function. Neuronal cell surfaces are closely associated with the surfaces of other cells, including the specialized contacts of synapses, and the close appositions of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, satellite cells, and Schwann cells with neuronal perikarya, axons, and dendrites (Peters et al., 1990). The importance of these interactions to neuronal metabolism and function is emphasized by recent identification of the receptors and ligands that mediate intercellular contacts and the cytoplasmic regulatory signaling that is activated by receptor-ligand binding (Zigmond et al., 1999). These complex associations are disrupted when neurons are placed into tissue culture, and the effects of these disruptions of cellular associations on neuronal function are not well understood. Still, these disruptions of cellular associations are necessary to ask many experimental questions, although one should remember that in vitro results are obtained from neurons placed into a highly altered environment. Because neurons require a substratum to which they can adhere in order to survive and form axons and dendrites, one must consider how to prepare substrata for culturing neurons.
KeywordsGlass Coverslip Plastic Dish Neuronal Growth Silicone Strip Cell Surface Adhesion Molecule
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