Characterization of primary and secondary cultures of astrocytes prepared from mouse cerebral cortex

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Astrocyte cultures were prepared from cerebral cortex of new-born and 7-day-old mice and additionally, the cultures from new-born animals were passaged as secondary cultures. The cultures were characterized by immunostaining for the astrocyte markers glutamine synthetase (GS), glial fibrillary acidic protein, and the glutamate transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2. The cultures prepared from 7-day-old animals were additionally characterized metabolically using (13)C-labeled glucose and glutamate as well as (15)N-labeled glutamate as substrates. All types of cultures exhibited pronounced immunostaining of the astrocyte marker proteins. The metabolic pattern of the cultures from 7-day-old animals of the labeled substrates was comparable to that seen previously in astrocyte cultures prepared from new-born mouse brain showing pronounced glycolytic and oxidative metabolism of glucose. Glutamate was metabolized both via the GS pathway and oxidatively via the tricarboxylic acid cycle as expected. Additionally, glutamate underwent pronounced transamination to aspartate and alanine and the intracellular pools of alanine and pyruvate exhibited compartmentation. Altogether the results show that cultures prepared from cerebral cortex of 7-day-old mice have metabolic and functional properties indistinguishable from those of classical astrocyte cultures prepared from neocortex of new-born animals. This provides flexibility with regard to preparation and use of these cultures for a variety of purposes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2043-2052
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 32634219