Derivation of Leptomeninges Explant Cultures from Postmortem Human Brain Donors

J Vis Exp. 2017 Jan 21:(119):55045. doi: 10.3791/55045.


Even though great progress has been made in the clinical characterization of Parkinson's disease, several studies report that the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is not pathologically confirmed in up to 25% of clinically diagnosed Parkinson's disease. Therefore, tissue collected from clinically diagnosed patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease can have a high rate of misdiagnosis; hence in vitro studies from such tissues to study Parkinson's disease as a preclinical model can become futile. By collecting postmortem human leptomeninges with a confirmed neuropathological diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and characterized by nigrostriatal cell loss and intracellular protein inclusions called Lewy bodies, one can be certain that clinically observed parkinsonism is not caused by another underlying disease process (e.g. tumor, arteriosclerosis). This protocol presents the dissection and preparation of postmortem human leptomeninges for derivation of a meningeal fibroblast culture. This procedure is robust and has a high success rate. The challenge of the culture is sterility as the brain procurement is generally not performed under sterile conditions. Therefore, it is important to supplement the culture media with a cocktail of penicillin, streptomycin, and amphotericin B. The derivation of meningeal fibroblasts from autopsy-confirmed cases with Parkinson's disease provides the foundation for in vitro modeling of Parkinson's disease. Meningeal fibroblasts appear 3-9 days after sample preparation and about 20-30 million cells can be cryopreserved in 6-8 weeks. The meningeal fibroblast culture is homogenous and the cells express fibronectin, a commonly used marker to identify meninges.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Dissection / methods
  • Fibroblasts* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Meninges / cytology*
  • Meninges / surgery
  • Models, Biological
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism


  • Biomarkers