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Characterization of Cortical Neuronal and Glial Alterations during Culture of Organotypic Whole Brain Slices from Neonatal and Mature Mice


Staal, JA and Alexander, SR and Liu, Y and Dickson, TC and Vickers, JC, Characterization of Cortical Neuronal and Glial Alterations during Culture of Organotypic Whole Brain Slices from Neonatal and Mature Mice, PLoS One , 6, (7) Article e22040. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2011 Staal et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022040


Background: Organotypic brain slice culturing techniques are extensively used in a wide range of experimental procedures and are particularly useful in providing mechanistic insights into neurological disorders or injury. The cellular and morphological alterations associated with hippocampal brain slice cultures has been well established, however, the neuronal response of mouse cortical neurons to culture is not well documented. Methods: In the current study, we compared the cell viability, as well as phenotypic and protein expression changes in cortical neurons, in whole brain slice cultures from mouse neonates (P4–6), adolescent animals (P25–28) and mature adults (P50+). Cultures were prepared using the membrane interface method. Results: Propidium iodide labeling of nuclei (due to compromised cell membrane) and AlamarBlueTM (cell respiration) analysis demonstrated that neonatal tissue was significantly less vulnerable to long-term culture in comparison to the more mature brain tissues. Cultures from P6 animals showed a significant increase in the expression of synaptic markers and a decrease in growth-associated proteins over the entire culture period. However, morphological analysis of organotypic brain slices cultured from neonatal tissue demonstrated that there were substantial changes to neuronal and glial organization within the neocortex, with a distinct loss of cytoarchitectural stratification and increased GFAP expression (p,0.05). Additionally, cultures from neonatal tissue had no glial limitans and, after 14 DIV, displayed substantial cellular protrusions from slice edges, including cells that expressed both glial and neuronal markers. Conclusion: In summary, we present a substantial evaluation of the viability and morphological changes that occur in the neocortex of whole brain tissue cultures, from different ages, over an extended period of culture.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Staal, JA (Dr Jerome Staal)
UTAS Author:Alexander, SR (Mr Samuel Alexander)
UTAS Author:Liu, Y (Dr Yao Liu)
UTAS Author:Dickson, TC (Professor Tracey Dickson)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
ID Code:73845
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-10-27
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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