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Brain Res Brain Res Protoc. 2001 Feb;6(3):91-9.

Method for serum-free culture of late fetal and early postnatal rat brainstem neurons.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand


Primary culture of postnatal brainstem neurons in defined medium has not been described in the literature. Successful primary culture of brainstem neurons is typically restricted to embryonic ages E14-E18. This study describes a method for culture of late fetal and early postnatal brainstem neurons using a serum-free culture medium. The culture system is based on Neurobasal medium supplemented with antioxidant-rich B27 (Life Technologies). Neuron survival was optimized by replacing glutamine with GlutaMaxI, by matching osmolality with neuronal age, and by using Hibernate medium to increase neuron survival during tissue dissociation. This paper describes the first reliable method for culturing brainstem neurons from late fetal and early postnatal stages of the rat for up to 6 days postpartum.

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