Of all cell types, motoneurons (MNs), are possibly the most difficult to maintain in culture, since their development and survival is conditioned by many factors that are still in the course of identification. This may also be the reason why they are difficult to transfect. We succeed to transfect these fragile cells with lipoplex [DOTAP:PC (10:1)-pGFP]-precoated coverslips. Here, we report that this original method, also termed 'surfection' does not perturbate MN development and survival while giving important transfection yield (15%). Lipofectamine 2000 and other well-known auxiliary lipids (DOPE, Chol) give lower surfection yields. The use of (DOTAP:PC)-based lipid vector also can be extended to several neural and non-neural cell lines with appreciable transfection yield such as a glial cell line (GCL) derived from rat spinal cord (65%), HeLa S3 (60%), COS-7 (30%) and HEK 293 cells (20%). The efficiency of DOTAP:PC (10:1) and Lipofectamine 2000 vectors in our surfection method are compared on standard HeLa S3 cell lines. Lipofectamine 2000 (72%) is slightly better than DOTAP:PC (10:1) (60%). However, the surfection method improved the efficiency of Lipofectamine 2000 itself (72%) as compared to the classical (62%) approach. In summary we have developed an original standard surfection protocol for both MN primary cultures and cell lines, thus simplifying laboratory practice; moreover, Lipofectamine 2000 used in this surfection method is more efficient for the cell lines than the manufacturer-recommended method. We emphasize that our method particularly spares fragile cells like MNs from injure and therefore, might be applied to other fragile cell type in primary cultures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aligned electrospun nanofibers direct neurite growth and may prove effective for repair throughout the nervous system. Applying nanofiber scaffolds to different nervous system regions will require prior in vitro testing of scaffold designs with specific neuronal and glial cell types. This would be best accomplished using primary neurons in serum-free media; however, such growth on nanofiber substrates has not yet been achieved. Here we report the development of poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) nanofiber substrates that support serum-free growth of primary motor and sensory neurons at low plating densities. In our study, we first compared materials used to anchor fibers to glass to keep cells submerged and maintain fiber alignment. We found that poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) anchors fibers to glass and is less toxic to primary neurons than bandage and glue used in other studies. We then designed a substrate produced by electrospinning PLLA nanofibers directly on cover slips pre-coated with PLGA. This substrate retains fiber alignment even when the fiber bundle detaches from the cover slip and keeps cells in the same focal plane. To see if increasing wettability improves motor neuron survival, some fibers were plasma etched before cell plating. Survival on etched fibers was reduced at the lower plating density. Finally, the alignment of neurons grown on this substrate was equal to nanofiber alignment and surpassed the alignment of neurites from explants tested in a previous study. This substrate should facilitate investigating the behavior of many neuronal types on electrospun fibers in serum-free conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary cultures of motoneurons represent a good experimental model for studying mechanisms underlying certain spinal cord pathologies, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy's disease). However, a major problem with such culture systems is the relatively short cell survival times, which limits the extent of motoneuronal maturation. In spite of supplementing culture media with various growth factors, it remains difficult to maintain motoneurons viable longer than 10 days in vitro. This study employs a new approach, in which rat motoneurons are plated on a layer of cultured cells derived from newborn human spinal cord. For all culture periods, more motoneurons remain viable in such cocultures compared with control monocultures. Moreover, although no motoneurons survive in control cultures after 22 days, viable motoneurons were observed in cocultures even after 7 weeks. Although no significant difference in neurite length was observed between 8-day mono- and cocultures, after 22 and 50 days in coculture motoneurons had a very mature morphology. They extended extremely robust, very long neurites, which formed impressive branched networks. Data obtained using a system in which the spinal cord cultures were separated from motoneurons by a porous polycarbonate filter suggest that soluble factors released from the supporting cells are in part responsible for the beneficial effects on motoneurons. Several approaches, including immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting, and electron microscopy, indicated that these supporting cells, capable of extending motoneuron survival and enhancing neurite growth, had an undifferentiated or poorly differentiated, possibly mesenchymal phenotype.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 01/2009; 87(1):50-60. DOI:10.1002/jnr.21835 · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While efficient methods for cell line transfection are well described, for primary neurons a high-yield method different from those relying on viral vectors is lacking. Viral vector-based primary neuronal infection has several drawbacks, including complexity of vector preparation, safety concerns and the generation of immune and inflammatory responses, when used in vivo. This article will cover the different approaches that are being used to efficiently deliver genetic material (both DNA and small interfering RNA) to neuronal tissue using nonviral vectors, including the use of cationic lipids, polyethylenimine derivatives, dendrimers, carbon nanotubes and the combination of carbon-made nanoparticles with dendrimers. The effectiveness, both in vivo and in vitro, of the different methods to deliver genetic material to neural tissue is discussed.
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