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Methods Collections

Ex vivo techniques to study molecular/cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration

Collection Overview

In vitro techniques have been widely used to study neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration with great success. However, frequently these in vitro cultures contain only one or two cell types.  Naturally, a next step in complexity prior to in vivo studies in suitable animal models are ex vivo cultures to examine how the full complement of cells within the nervous system parenchyma contribute to development or disease.  Ex vivo slices have been performed in multiple species including human post-mortem tissue and rodent tissue. Ex vivo cultures provide the complexity yet accessibility of the nervous system parenchyma for manipulation, imaging and quantification.  They provide a useful tool for understanding not only the molecular mechanisms underlying development but also how these mechanisms are altered in disease states. The cultures are also tremendously useful for drug development to demonstrate target engagement, efficacy on a cellular and molecular level, to investigate toxicity.  This collection aims to showcase both the current and latest techniques commonly employed for ex vivo studies of neural tissue. These types of assays are frequently difficult to first establish and conduct, hence JoVE is an ideal platform to make these techniques accessible to more researchers.  

 


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