2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Optimization of a Mixed Culture System For Microglia and Neurons Using Immortalized Cell Lines
Cheri L. Dunham♦*, Jacqueline E. Weiss, Monica A. Stutz, and William G. Alexander
Dr. Cynthia Cooper, Dr. Bin Liu (National Institute of Environmental Health Science), and Dr. John S. Hong (National Institute of Environmental Health Science), Faculty Mentors

Microglia are brain cells that play a prominent role in inflammation and are directly involved in several neurodegenerative disorders. Development of a cell culture system using neurons and microglia will offer an inexpensive method to model inflammation-mediated neurotoxicity in vitro. Bacterial endotoxin was used to induce an inflammatory response from microglia, with release of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and nitric oxide (NO). Cells were also monitored with two fluorescent markers to allow morphological assessment of microglia (BV2 cell) activation and neuron (N27 cell) toxicity in vitro. We found that BV2 and N27 cells could be cultured together and BV2 responded to endotoxin with characteristic NO and TNF-α production similar to that observed in whole brain tissue. The results show that neuronal inflammation can be modeled in vitro without sacrificing live animals. Future studies will focus on identifying factors that mediate neuron-glia communication to identify therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease.

Keywords: microglia, neuron, neurodegenerative, neurotoxicity, endotoxin, nitric oxide, morphological, therapeutic

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 11-2
Location: VH 1010
Time: 8:45

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* Indicates the Student Presenter
♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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