Primary Cell Cultures of Peripheral and Central Neurons and Glia

  • Mary I. Johnson
  • Richard P. Bunge


Tissue culture allows the separate establishment of neurons and glia under a variety of conditions of substrate and media. By subsequent recombination of relatively pure cell populations, specific questions of neuronal development and neuronal-glia interactions may be studied. In vivo, axons of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons course through both the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nerve trunks, and induce myelination by both central (oligodendrocytes) and peripheral (Schwann cells) neuroglia. In culture, either PNS or CNS glial cells can be added to the networks of nonneuronal cell-free disaggregated DRG neurons. When provided with suitable medium, the glia expand in number and myelination occurs in several weeks. Similarly, cultures of sympathetic neurons have been utilized to study factors influencing neurotransmitter and dendritic development as well as axonal growth, particularly the form and function of growth cones. Studies of substrate requirements and molecular interactions underlying neurite extension have utilized expiants of both central and peripheral neurons.


Dorsal Root Ganglion Schwann Cell Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuron Maintenance Medium Superior Cervical Ganglion 
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Further Reading

  1. Bunge, M. B., Johnson, M. I., Ard, M. D., and Kleitman, N. (1987), Factors influencing the growth of regenerating nerve fibers in culture, in: Progress in Brain Research, Seil, F. J., Herbert, E., and Carlson, B. M., eds., Elsevier, vol. 71, pp. 61–74.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary I. Johnson
  • Richard P. Bunge

There are no affiliations available

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