UNIT 2.7 Preparation and Coculture of Neurons and Glial Cells

  1. Barbara Viviani

Published Online: 1 OCT 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471143030.cb0207s32

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

How to Cite

Viviani, B. 2006. Preparation and Coculture of Neurons and Glial Cells. Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 32:2.7:2.7.1–2.7.21.

Author Information

  1. University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2006
  2. Published Print: SEP 2006


The close relationship between neurons, glia, astroglia, and astrocytes plays a relevant role in modulating a neurotoxic effect and propagating the consequent degenerative event in the brain. After exposure to a neurotoxicant, glial cells are often activated to release substances responsible for the propagation of the damage. the production of such mediators is the result of both neural death and communication between microglia and astrocytes. Because they are simple and highly controlled, cocultures of different cells of the nervous system are a valuable tool in the investigations of these complex relationships. This unit describes protocols to set up neuron-glia and microglia-astrocyte sandwich cocultures, in which the selected cell populations grow on two different surfaces. This system has the advantage that the two cell populations can be separated at any point in the exposure without disrupting the cells integrity and organization