Long-term stability of human neurons in an organotypic slice culture system – a new model to study disease mechanisms of neurological disorders – Henner Koch, University of Tübingen

February 28, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
James Fawcett Seminar Room
van Geest Building
Dr Romina Vuono

Keeping adult human cortical neurons intact for functional and morphological analysis for extended periods of time and for targeted manipulation of human brain cells has been a major goal in neuroscience. Preceding work revealed that human organotypic slice cultures can be maintained in human cerebrospinal fluid (hCSF) with intact network function. However, the question to what degree the cellular function remains intact has not been answered in detail. In this study we investigated the relative stability of adult cortical pyramidal neurons maintained in an organotypic slice culture for up to 14 days in vitro in hCSF. To quantify the functional constancy we measured basic electrophysiological parameters, as well as morphological properties of pyramidal neurons in these slices over time. We found a robust stability of the physiological parameters of neurons maintained in hCSF. In a second step, we used a virus approach to detect large scale cellular integrity in the slices for post-hoc morphology analysis. The data of this study indicate that adult human cortical neurons can be kept intact in slice cultures and can be investigated in vitro in an environment as close as possible to the human brain for extended periods of time.