Primary dissociated midbrain dopamine cell cultures from rodent neonates

J Vis Exp. 2008 Nov 5;(21):820. doi: 10.3791/820.

Abstract

The ability to create primary cell cultures of dopamine neurons allows for the study of the presynaptic characteristics of dopamine neurons in isolation from systemic input from elsewhere in the brain. In our lab, we use these neurons to assess dopamine release kinetics using carbon fiber amperometry, as well as expression levels of dopamine related genes and proteins using quantitative PCR and immunocytochemistry. In this video, we show you how we generate these cultures from rodent neonates. The process involves several steps, including the plating of cortical glial astrocytes, the conditioning of neuronal cell culture media by the glial substrate, the dissection of the midbrain in neonates, the digestion, extraction and plating of dopamine neurons and the addition of neurotrophic factors to ensure cell survival. The applications suitable for such a preparation include electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, quantitative PCR, video microscopy (i.e., of real-time vesicular fusion with the plasma membrane), cell viability assays and other toxicological screens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Mesencephalon / cytology*
  • Mesencephalon / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rodentia

Substances

  • Dopamine