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Lesion-induced neurite sprouting and synapse formation in hippocampal organotypic cultures

Published in Neuroscience. 1993, vol. 57, no. 4, p. 985-994
Abstract By sectioning, using a razor blade, one- and three-week-old rat hippocampal organotypic cultures, we have tested the possibility that neurite outgrowth and reactive synaptogenesis would take place even after several weeks in culture in this in vitro model. At the light-microscopic level, recovery from the section and formation of a thin scar were observed within six days following the lesion. Immunostainings using neurofilament antibodies showed the presence of numerous degenerative and regenerative images one day after the cut and many fibres crossing the section six days after the lesion. Electrophysiological recordings of synaptic responses elicited across the section indicated the formation of new functional synaptic contacts and complete recovery of transmission within three to six days. Interestingly, functional recovery in three-week-old cultures was found to be significantly slower than in one-week-old tissue. These findings were confirmed at the electron-microscopic level. Evidence was obtained for an effective cleaning of the lesion site by macrophages and astroglial cells, the existence of many degenerative and regenerative images one day after the cut and the presence of new dendrites, axonal fibres and synapses in the area of the section six days after the lesion. All these changes were slower in three- than in one-week-old cultures. These results indicate that organotypic cultures can be used as an interesting model for studies of reactive synaptogenesis.
Keywords AnimalsHippocampus/metabolism/ physiology/ultrastructureImmunohistochemistryMicroscopy, ElectronNerve RegenerationNeurites/ physiologyNeurofilament Proteins/metabolismOrgan Culture TechniquesRatsRats, WistarSynapses/ physiology
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PMID: 8309556

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Deposited on : 2010-08-06

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