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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2004 Jun;26(2):241-50.

Neurogenesis in hippocampal slice cultures.

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  • 1Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland. rainet@hifo.unizh.ch


A major challenge in studying neurogenesis in the adult brain is gaining access to neural stem cells for experimental manipulation. We developed an approach utilizing mouse hippocampal organotypic cultures to characterize neurogenesis under controlled conditions. After 2 weeks in culture, double immunostaining using the mitotic marker BrdU and cell type-specific markers revealed persistent proliferation of various cell types. The birth of new neurons was restricted to a third subgranular germinal zone as shown by analysis of the expression pattern of the proneural transcription factor neurogenin-2 and colocalization of BrdU with neuronal phenotypic markers. The regional distribution of newly born neurons closely resembled that observed in vivo in the adult hippocampus. Furthermore, neurogenesis was increased by chronic application of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and abolished by adding serum to the culture medium. Our study therefore establishes the hippocampal slice culture as a promising ex vivo model for investigating neurogenesis.

Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.

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