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J Vis Exp. 2007;(5):226. doi: 10.3791/226. Epub 2007 Jul 4.

Preparation of neuronal cultures from midgastrula stage Drosophila embryos.

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1
Department of Development and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, USA.

Abstract

This video illustrates the procedure for making primary neuronal cultures from midgastrula stage Drosophila embryos. The methods for collecting embryos and their dechorionation using bleach are demonstrated. Using a glass pipet attached to a mouth suction tube, we illustrate the removal of all cells from single embryos. The method for dispersing cells from each embryo into a small (5 l) drop of medium on an uncoated glass coverslip is demonstrated. A view through the microscope at 1 hour after plating illustrates the preferred cell density. Most of the cells that survive when grown in defined medium are neuroblasts that divide one or more times in culture before extending neuritic processes by 12-24 hours. A view through the microscope illustrates the level of neurite outgrowth and branching expected in a healthy culture at 2 days in vitro. The cultures are grown in a simple bicarbonate based defined medium, in a 5% CO(2) incubator at 22-24 degrees C. Neuritic processes continue to elaborate over the first week in culture and when they make contact with neurites from neighboring cells they often form functional synaptic connections. Neurons in these cultures express voltage-gated sodium, calcium, and potassium channels and are electrically excitable. This culture system is useful for studying molecular genetic and environmental factors that regulate neuronal differentiation, excitability, and synapse formation/function.

PMID:
18979024
PMCID:
PMC2557095
DOI:
10.3791/226
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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