• aurintricarboxylic acid;
  • serum-free medium;
  • P19 neuron cells;
  • hippocampal neurons;
  • cell attachment reagent


Dissociated primary neuron culture has been the most widely used model systems for neuroscience research. Most of these primary neurons are cultured on adhesion matrix-coated surface to provide a proper environment for cell anchorage under serum-free conditions. In this study, we provide an alternative technique to promote the adhesions of these neurons using aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), a nonpeptide compound, without surface manipulations. We first demonstrated that ATA could promote Chinese hamster ovary cell attachment and proliferation in serum-free medium in a dosage-dependent manner. We later showed that ATA significantly enhanced the attachment of the retinoic acid differentiated P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma (P19) neurons, with an optimal concentration around 30 μg/mL. A similar result was seen in primary hippocampal neurons, with an optimal ATA concentration around 15 μg/mL. Further morphological assessments revealed that the average neurite length and neuronal polarization were almost identical to that obtained using a conventional method with poly-L-lysine surface. The advantages of using the ATA treatment technique for immunochemical analysis are discussed. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012