Methods for culturing adult CNS neurons reveal a CNS conditioning effect

Authors: van Niekerk EA, Kawaguchi R, de Freria CM, Groeniger K, Marchetto KC, Dupraz S, Bradke F, Geschwind DH, Gage FH, Tuszynski MH.

Cell Reports Methods, 2022


Scientists use Maestro’s noninvasive, label-free in vitro platform to investigate adult neuronal cultures.  

Biologically relevant in vitro models of the adult brain are essential for understanding neuronal function and responses to injury and degeneration, but culturing adult central nervous neurons in large numbers has been a challenge for scientists. In this study, the authors “report for the first time a method to consistently culture mature adult neurons in large numbers over extended time periods, including hippocampal, cortical, brainstem, and cerebellar neurons." The team also demonstrates the utility of the models for studying central nervous system (CNS) injuries and identifies a conditioning mechanism that occurs following spinal cord injury. 

To noninvasively examine electrical activity in vitro, the scientists used Axion’s label-free Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) platform and demonstrated synaptic activity and rapid formation of correlated networks in primary neuron cultures from the major cortex and hippocampus. Together with other findings, these results suggest a promising platform for therapeutic discovery in neurological applications and for modeling the healthy and diseased human brain.