Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Cultures

  • Ruth Cole
  • Jean de Vellis


The study of glial cell development and function has been considerably enhanced by the development of methods to culture oligodendrocytes and astrocytes from central nervous system tissue. A primary mixed glial culture, primarily composed of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and some microglia, is obtained when newborn disaggregated cerebral brain cells from newborn rat are plated at high cell density (2 × 105/cm2) in serum-supplemented media (McCarthy and de Vellis, 1980). At low cell density (e.g., 5 × 104 cells/cm2), few oligodendrocytes develop and the culture consists largely of astrocytes. At high cell density, phase-dark process-bearing cells appear by 4 d and stratify into clusters and individual cells above the bedlayer of cells. The bedlayer consists of astrocytes rich in glial filaments. This observation led to the development of the shaking procedure that results in the selective removal of the process-bearing cells from the underlying astrocytes (McCarthy and de Vellis, 1980).


Cerebral Hemisphere Central Nervous System Tissue Olfactory Lobe Curve Forceps Oligodendrocyte Culture 
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Cole
  • Jean de Vellis

There are no affiliations available

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