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A Primary Neural Cell Culture Model for Neuroinflammation

  • Author(s): Goshi, Noah;
  • Morgan, Rhianna K;
  • Lein, Pamela J;
  • Seker, Erkin
  • et al.

AbstractInteractions between neurons, astrocytes and microglia critically influence neuroinflammatory responses to insult in the central nervous system. Studying neuroinflammation in vitro has been difficult because most primary culture models do not include all three critical cell types. We describe an in vitro model of neuroinflammation comprised of neurons, astrocytes and microglia. Primary rat cortical cells were cultured in a serum-free medium used to co-culture neurons and astrocytes that is supplemented with three factors (IL-34, TGF-β and cholesterol) used to support isolated microglia. This “tri-culture” can be maintained for at least 14 days in vitro while retaining a physiologically-relevant representation of all three cell types. Additionally, we demonstrate that the tri-culture system responds to lipopolysaccharide, mechanical trauma and excitotoxicity with both neurotoxic and neuroprotective aspects of the neuroinflammatory response observed in vivo. We expect the tri-culture model will enable mechanistic studies of neuroinflammation in vitro with enhanced physiological relevance.

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