Three distinct neuronal phenotypes exist in ...

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Title Three distinct neuronal phenotypes exist in embryonic rat hippocampal neurons cultured in basic fibroblast growth factor
Author(s) J. H. Eubanks, J. L. Perez-Velazquez, Russell G. Kerr, P. L. Carlen, L. R. Mills, O. T. Jones
Journal Neuroscience Letters
Date 1996
Volume 204
Issue 1-2
Start page 5
Abstract The possibility that neurons cultured in basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) are heterogeneous raises concerns about their subsequent use in gene transfection and transplantation studies. We have examined the fate of embryonic hippocampal neurons in bFGF culture, and now conclude that these cells are not only heterogeneous, but possess neurons of various stages of development. Morphological and immunocytochemical analysis reveal three distinct developmental classes of neurons are present in extended bFGF culture. This tripartite classification is supported by electrophysiological analysis, which reveals that upon depolarization, neurons with precursor and juvenile neuron morphologies are unable to fire action potentials. The third class of neurons, which resemble age-matched polarized neurons in standard serum culture, fired multiple action potentials indicative of a mature phenotype. These data show neurons at multiple developmental stages co-exist in bFGF culture, and provide an experimental basis for their classification.

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