Neuronal progenitor cells (NPC) play an essential role in homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). Considering their ability to differentiate into specific lineages, their manipulation and control could have a major therapeutic impact for those CNS injuries or degenerative diseases characterized by neuronal cell loss. In this work, we established an in vitro co-culture and tested the ability of foetal NPC (fNPC) to integrate among post-mitotic hippocampal neurons and contribute to the electrical activity of the resulting networks. We performed extracellular electrophysiological recordings of the activity of neuronal networks and compared the properties of spontaneous spiking in hippocampal control cultures (HCC), fNPC, and mixed circuitries ex vivo. We further employed patch-clamp intracellular recordings to examine single-cell excitability. We report of the capability of fNPC to mature when combined to hippocampal neurons, shaping the profile of network activity, a result suggestive of newly formed connectivity ex vivo.
Keywords: Cell electrophysiology; Hippocampus; Microelectrode arrays; Neuronal networks; Neuronal progenitor cells.