UNIT 3.2 Long-Term Culture of Hippocampal Neurons

  1. Carlos Vicario-Abejón

Published Online: 1 MAY 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0302s26

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Vicario-Abejón, C. 2004. Long-Term Culture of Hippocampal Neurons. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 26:3.2:3.2.1–3.2.13.

Author Information

  1. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Censejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2004
  2. Published Print: JAN 2004


In culture, hippocampal cells can develop to express neuronal antigens and acquire mature neuronal morphologies, including axons, complex dendritic trees, and synapses that are electrophysiologically active. This system is suitable for studying neuronal differentiation and other events, such as synaptogenesis. It is also a valuable model for investigating synaptic plasticity and exploring the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration. This unit provides a protocol for culturing neurons prepared from embryonic (E-18) rat or mouse hippocampus, but could also be used to grow neurons from embryonic cortex, olfactory bulb, striatum, or spinal cord. A second method is included for preparing neuronal cultures from embryos with different genotypes, such as those from transgenic mice. Also described is the preparation of polyornithine- and fibronectin-coated coverslips, which are highly adhesive and promote neurite outgrowth, for use in the culture protocols.


  • hippocampus;
  • embryo;
  • culture;
  • rat;
  • mouse