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J Neurosci Methods. 2013 Mar 30;214(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2012.12.019. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Selective pharmacological manipulation of cortical-thalamic co-cultures in a dual-compartment device.

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  • 1Minimally Invasive Healthcare Department, Philips Research Laboratories Eindhoven, High Tech Campus 34.023, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


In this study, we demonstrate capabilities to selectively manipulate dissociated co-cultures of neurons plated in dual-compartment devices. Synaptic receptor antagonists and tetrodotoxin solutions were used to selectively control and study the network-wide burst propagation and cell firing in cortical-cortical and cortical-thalamic co-culture systems. The results show that in cortical-thalamic dissociated co-cultures, burst events initiate in the cortical region and propagate to the thalamic region and the burst events in thalamic region can be controlled by blocking the synaptic receptors in the cortical region. Whereas, in cortical-cortical co-culture system, one of the region acts as a site of burst initiation and facilitate propagation of bursts in the entire network. Tetrodotoxin, a sodium channel blocker, when applied to either of the regions blocks the firing of neurons in that particular region with significant influence on the firing of neurons in the other region. The results demonstrate selective pharmacological manipulation capabilities of co-cultures in a dual compartment device and helps understand the effects of neuroactive compounds on networks derived from specific CNS tissues and the dynamic interaction between them.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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