Influence of culture substrata on the differentiation of advanced passage glial cells in cultures from aged mouse cerebral hemispheres

Int J Dev Neurosci. 1993 Aug;11(4):513-9. doi: 10.1016/0736-5748(93)90025-9.


We have previously reported that glial cells derived from aged mouse cerebral hemispheres (MACH) in primary cultures and after several passages consist of protoplasmic astrocytes (Type 1), differentiated stellate astrocytes (Type 2), a few oligodendrocytes, and also glial precursors. In this study, we examined the influence of culture substrata: plastic, poly-L-lysine, laminin or collagen on the differentiation of MACH glial cells of advanced passages (P18-19) using glutamine synthetase (GS) and cyclic nucleotide phosphohydrolase (CNP) activity as biochemical markers for astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, respectively. Cultures were also examined morphologically using light microscopy. In general, GS activity was increased in cultures grown on the three chemical substrata versus plastic alone with the most striking effect being the 2-fold increase observed in those cells grown in laminin. No differences were noted in CNP activity. Morphologically, proliferation of protoplasmic (Type 1) astrocytes was enhanced by culture day 2 on polylysine substratum and stellate differentiated (Type 2) astrocytes were noted on collagen. The striking feature in cultures grown on laminin was the presence of astrocytes with markedly long processes. Thus, morphological astrocyte differentiation appears to correspond to the increased GS activity. We propose that the extracellular matrix components such as collagen and laminin may play an important role in promoting glial precursors to differentiate into astrocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 2',3'-Cyclic Nucleotide 3'-Phosphodiesterase
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases*


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • 2',3'-Cyclic Nucleotide 3'-Phosphodiesterase
  • Cnp protein, mouse
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase