Some glia function primarily as physical support for neurons. Others regulate the internal environment of the brain, especially the fluid surrounding neurons and their synapses, and provide nutrition to nerve cells. Glia have important developmental roles, guiding migration of neurons in early development and producing molecules that modify the growth of axons and dendrites. Recent findings in the hippocampus and cerebellum have indicated that glia are also active participants in synaptic transmission, regulating clearance of neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft, releasing factors such as ATP which modulate presynaptic function, and even releasing neurotransmitters themselves.This book outlines detailed methods for the isolation, purification and propagation of glial cells, such as oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia and Schwann cells. This fills a major void in the methodology publications, as most books on neural cell cultures are focused on neuronal cell culture. Their protocols for glial cultures are too succinct to be useful to a glial cell biologist, either novice or established. The purpose of this book is to provide clear and detailed protocols that are designed to be informative and easy to reproduce for the novice. One unique feature of this book is "trouble shooting" sections in each chapter to help solve the typical cell culture problems for each cell type.
Oligodendrocytes.- Astrocytes.- Microglia.- Schwann Cells.- Neuron-Glia Co-cultures.- Neurospheres.- Immortalization of Primary Cells