Rat cortical neurons in cell culture: culture methods, cell morphology, electrophysiology, and synapse formation

Brain Res. 1978 Jun 30;149(2):279-93. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(78)90476-6.


Rat cortical neurons from 15 day embryos are grown in dissociated cell culture and maintained in vitro for 8--12 weeks. The neurons develop into forms which resemble mature cortical neurons in situ, stain with silver and exhibit passive and active electrophysiological properties similar to those of cortical neurons. Extensive chemical excitatory and inhibitory synapses develop de novo. These cultures can provide a model for future studies of mammalian CNS neuronal physiology, transmitter pharmacology, pathophysiology and mechanisms of drug action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Female
  • Methods
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • Neurotransmitter Agents