Establishment and characterization of primary astrocyte culture from adult mouse brain

Xiu Sun, Xin Hu, Dan Wang, Yimin Yuan, Shangyao Qin, Zijian Tan, Yakun Gu, Xiao Huang, Cheng He, Zhida Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


As a major class of glial cells, astrocytes have been indicated to play multi-roles in physiological and pathological brain. Astrocyte cultures derived from postnatal mouse brains have been extensively used to characterize their biological properties. However, the inability to culture adult mouse primary astrocytes has long stymied studies of function in adult brain. Here, we developed a protocol to successfully establish highly enriched astrocyte cultures from the brains of adult mouse. Cortical tissues were collected to prepare cell suspension by enzymatic digestion and mechanical dissociation, and then plated onto vessels pre-coated with gelatin and matrigel and cultured in DMEM medium containing 20% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Forskolin (FSK) and glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were use to promote astrocyte proliferation and survival respectively. These adult astrocyte cultures were identified by immunocytochemical, immunobloting and PCR analysis. Furthermore, biological and functional analysis indicated that they possess the biochemical and physiological properties of astrocytes, suggestive of a useful cell model for astroglial studies in adult brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Adult
  • Astrocyte
  • Biological property
  • Function
  • Mouse
  • Primary culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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