What have we learned from cultured adult dorsal root ganglion neurons?

Kazunori Sango, Naoko Niimi, Masami Tsukamoto, Kazunori Utsunomiya, Kunihiko Sakumi, Yusaku Nakabeppu, Toshihiko Kadoya, Hidenori Horie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are constituents of the peripheral sensory nervous system, and methods for their primary culture from embryonic, neonatal, and adult animals have been established. Because some biological properties of DRG neurons can change with maturation and aging, adult DRG neurons appear to be a better choice for studies on axonal regeneration after injury and peripheral neuropathies than immature neurons. In dissociated cell culture, each of the ganglion neurons is mechanically and enzymatically isolated and seeded in a substrate-coated culture dish. Because of the good yield of ganglion neurons with high purity and viability, various assays can be performed on these neurons (e.g., cell attachment, cell viability, neurite outgrowth activity, electrophysiology, and immunocytochemistry). In explant culture, ganglia associated with nerve fibers are embedded in a collagen gel or Matrigel, and the number and length of neurites outgrowing from nerve-transected terminals are measured. Because cell-cell interactions are maintained in an explanted tissue, it is likely that an explant culture system mimics nerve regeneration in vivo better than a dissociated cell culture system. Using these culture systems, we investigated mechanisms of action of several different molecules that regulate axonal regeneration (e.g., ciliary neurotrophic factor, galectin-1, exendin-4, and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans). In addition, these culture methods have been applied to animal models of aging and diseases (e.g., diabetes, GM2 gangliosidosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus) to elucidate the pathogenesis of neurological disorders that result from those conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGanglion Cells
Subtitle of host publicationMorphology, Functional Development and Role in Disease
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781631174339
ISBN (Print)9781631174322
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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