Background: Isolation of neurons from the adult mouse CNS is important in order to study their gene expression during development or the course of different diseases.
New methods: Here we present two different methods for the enrichment or isolation of neurons from adult mouse CNS. These methods: are either based on flow cytometry sorting of eYFP expressing neurons, or by depletion of non-neuronal cells by sorting with magnetic-beads.
Results: Enrichment by FACS sorting of eYFP positive neurons results in a population of 62.4% NeuN positive living neurons. qPCR data shows a 3-5fold upregulation of neuronal markers. The isolation of neurons based on depletion of non-neuronal cells using the Miltenyi Neuron Isolation Kit, reaches a purity of up to 86.5%. qPCR data of these isolated neurons shows an increase in neuronal markers and an absence of glial markers, proving pure neuronal RNA isolation.
Comparison with existing methods: Former data related to neuronal gene expression are mainly based on histology, which does not allow for high-throughput transcriptome analysis to examine differential gene expression.
Conclusion: These protocols can be used to study cell type specific gene expression of neurons to unravel their function in the process of damage to the CNS.
Keywords: Adult mice; Enrichment; Ex vivo; FACS sorting; Isolation; Magnetic-beads; Neurons; RNA isolation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.