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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol. 1986 Apr;22(4):180-92.

Reaggregation of fetal rat brain cells in a stationary culture system. I: Methodology and cell identification.


A stationary tissue culture system for reaggregation cultures of rat brain cells is described. Aggregates were formed by placing cells at high concentration in liquid overlay cultures on a nonadherent nutrient agar surface. No physical stress in the form of rotation or shaking was applied to the aggregating cell population. Transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry showed that the cells developed from homogeneously dispersed, immature cells in Day 4 aggregates, to mature astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and neurons in Day 20 aggregates. Twenty days older aggregates had a tightly packed neuropil which was most prominent in a cell-sparse outer layer of the aggregates. When the aggregates were allowed to adhere to a substrate, both glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive and negative cells were observed migrating out from the aggregates. Cells giving a positive reaction for neuron specific enolase (NSE) were also present. This reaggregation procedure, with transfer of selected brain cell aggregates into agar-coated multiwells is an alternative three-dimensional culture system which can be potentially useful in the study of morphogenesis and cell interactions in the nervous system.

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