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Nat Protoc. 2009;4(12):1869-87. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2009.210.

Production of compartmented cultures of rat sympathetic neurons.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The compartmented culture, in which primary neurons plated in a proximal compartment send their axons under silicone grease barriers and into left and right distal compartments, has enhanced the experimental capabilities of neuronal cultures. Treatments can be applied separately to cell bodies/proximal axons or distal axons, and cell bodies/proximal axons and distal axons can be separately harvested and analyzed. Distal axons can be axotomized, and the neurons can be studied while their axons regenerate. Construction of the culture dishes requires 3 h for 48 cultures, and preparing the neurons also requires 3 h. Compartmented cultures provide enough cellular material for biochemical analyses such as immunoblotting. The uses of compartmented cultures have included studies of neurotrophic factor retrograde signaling, axonal transport, and axonal protein and lipid biosynthesis. Here we focus on sympathetic neurons cultured from neonatal rats and provide protocols for the production and some of the uses of compartmented cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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