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Brain Res. 2004 Mar 19;1001(1-2):125-32.

Functional validation of adult hippocampal organotypic cultures as an in vitro model of brain injury.

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Neuroscience Division, Wyeth Research, CN 8000, Princeton, NJ 08543-8000, USA.


To determine whether hippocampal pyramidal neurons retain authentic functional properties in mature organotypic culture, hippocampal slice cultures were established from young adult rats (P20-21). Cultures maintained 7 days in vitro retained tight organization of neuronal layers, as opposed to the widening restructure of pyramidal neurons often observed in perinatal slices. CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons fired action potentials in response to current injection and exhibited spontaneous and evoked synaptic currents, indicating intact neuronal function and normal hippocampal neural circuitry. We also tested neuronal sensitivity of slice cultures to ischemic injury. Acute ischemic paradigm resulted in selective death of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region, which was prevented by treatment with an NMDA-antagonist, MK-801. Robust efflux of excitatory and inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitters was detected during ischemia, consistent with changes shown in acute slices. In summary, hippocampal organotypic cultures prepared from young adult rats maintained neuronal architecture and synaptic activity in vitro and can be used in parallel with an acute slice system to model mature brain tissue to examine ischemic pathophysiology and neuroprotective treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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