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Peptides. 1988 Sep-Oct;9(5):1151-75.

Slice cultures of LHRH neurons in the presence and absence of brainstem and pituitary.

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Laboratory of Neurochemistry, NINCDS, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons from the preoptic area (POA)/hypothalamus of the postnatal rat were cultured for up to 7 weeks using a slice explant roller culture technique. The slices thinned to quasi-monolayers, but maintained organotypic distributions of large numbers of immunocytochemically identifiable LHRH, neurotensin, tyrosine hydroxylase, neurophysin and corticotropin releasing hormone-containing neurons. The distribution, survival and morphology of LHRH cells in co-cultures with brainstem and anterior pituitary was quantitated, and found to be similar to that observed in single cultures. LHRH fibers grew into either pituitary or brainstem tissue, however when all three tissues were co-cultured, LHRH fibers preferentially invaded the pituitary. LH immunoreactive anterior pituitary gonadotropes were maintained only in co-cultures containing POA/hypothalamic slices, and addition of an LHRH antagonist in such cultures, inhibited LH immunoreactivity in the gonadotropes. This slice explant roller culture method effectively maintains the cyto- and chemoarchitecture and functional properties of the LHRH system for long periods in vitro and should provide excellent models for studying the interactive and molecular characteristics of postnatal LHRH neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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