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J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Sep 30;156(1-2):129-35. Epub 2006 Mar 27.

Chicken cerebellar granule neurons rapidly develop excitotoxicity in culture.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.


Rat cerebellar granule cell culture is widely used as a model to study factors that control neuronal differentiation and death (e.g. excitotoxicity). However, a main drawback of this model is its dependence on depolarizing culture condition (25 mM potassium). In addition, it is quite expensive to maintain and requires animal facilities. Here we report that cerebellar granule neuron cultures from chicken may be used as an alternative model to study excitotoxicity. Surprisingly, fetal chicken cells may be grown in a physiological potassium concentration (5 mM potassium). They develop excitotoxicity rapidly in culture (fully developed at 3 days in vitro), and respond to glutamate excitotoxicity similar to rat cultures (ROS production and activation of caspase-3).

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