An efficient method for dorsal root ganglia neurons purification with a one-time anti-mitotic reagent treatment

PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60558. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060558. Epub 2013 Apr 2.


Background: The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neuron is an invaluable tool in axon growth, growth factor regulation, myelin formation and myelin-relevant researches. The purification of DRG neurons is a key step in these studies. Traditionally, purified DRG neurons were obtained in two weeks after exposure to several rounds of anti-mitotic reagent.

Methods and results: In this report, a novel, simple and efficient method for DRG purification is presented. DRG cultures were treated once with a high-dose anti-mitotic reagent cocktail for 72 hours. Using this new method, DRG neurons were obtained with 99% purification within 1 week. We confirmed that the neurite growth and the viability of the purified DRG neurons have no difference from the DRG neurons purified by traditional method. Furthermore, P0 and MBP expression was observed in myelin by immunocytochemistry in the DRG/SC co-culture system. The formation of mature node of Ranvier in DRG-Schwann cell co-culture system was observed using anti-Nav 1.6 and anti-caspr antibody.

Conclusion and significance: The results indicate that this high dose single treatment did not compromise the capacity of DRG neurons for myelin formation in the DRG/SC co-culture system. In conclusion, a convenient approach for purifying DRG neurons was developed which is time-saving and high-efficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Floxuridine / pharmacology
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism
  • Neurites / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Uridine / pharmacology


  • Floxuridine
  • Uridine

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.81200966) and Natural Science Fund of Shaanxi province (No. 2010JQ4014). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.