Tissue Culture Systems for Adult Neurons

Period of Performance: 01/15/1992 - 06/30/1992


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Technical Research Assoc., Inc.
2257 South 1100 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Principal Investigator


The overall objective of the proposed work is to prove the feasibility and further develop a new method for isolating and culturing neurons from adult mouse brains and cerebella. It is not now possible to culture neurons directly from adult animals. As a result, in vitro research in the neurosciences and in neuropharmacology has been limited to cells from embryonic or malignant neuronal tissue. These can not provide information needed to understand the special biochemistry of mature neurons nor to analyze changes from disease or from drugs. These culture techniques, when perfected, will make it possible to access any area of the adult central nervous system (CNS) for particular neurons of interest. This method will provide systems for basic studies in neuronal biochemistry, characterization of receptors on different types of neurons and for studying the role of viruses in neurological diseases. These will be used to assay drugs for Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and for drug abuse. Tests with tissue cultures are much less costly and superior to tests with animals since many more variables can be investigated. This will greatly decrease the use of animals in pharmacological and neuroscience research. Commercial production of the media required to isolate and culture the neurons by TRA will make the technology easily available to laboratories.