Development of neurites from SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells in vitro




Glass, Tracy L.

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The ability to cause cells to differentiate in vitro presents an opportunity to develop model systems for the study of neural differentiation and regeneration. Culturing cells in a gel composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, as opposed to standard culture on substrates of glass or plastic, has powerful effects on cell behavior and differentiation. Previous studies of primary neural cultures in ECM have demonstrated the ability of the gel to promote axonal growth. The following two questions were asked: 1) does the morphogenic effect result from soluble growth factors present in the ECM, and 2) in comparison to in situ axons, do these neurite-like structures emanating from gel cultured cells express neurite specific antigens? The behavior of cells grown in and growth factor-reduced ECM gels was compared, and no significant morphological differences were apparent. Cells grown in ECM were found to express neurite-specific antigens in amounts comparable to that of mature rat brain tissue. These proteins were not detectable by western analysis in cells cultured without ECM, but were observed by immunohistocheroistry in apparently lesser amount in the processes of cells cultured without ECM. It therefore appears that SH-SY5Y processes are neurites and that growth in ECM promotes and accelerates expression of neurite specific antigens.



Neuroblastoma, Cell growth, Morphology, Neurites


Glass, T. L. (2000). <i>Development of neurites from SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells in vitro</i> (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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