Astrocytes are the most prevalent type of glial cell in the brain, participating in a variety of diverse functions from regulating cerebral blood flow to controlling synapse formation. Astrocytes and astrocyte-conditioned media are widely used in models of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), however, very little is known about astrocyte culture in 2D. To test the hypothesis that surface coating and soluble factors influence astrocyte morphology in 2D, we quantitatively analyzed the morphology of human fetal derived astrocytes on glass, matrigel, fibronectin, collagen IV, and collagen I, and after the addition soluble factors including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), laminin, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Matrigel surface coatings, as well as addition of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) to the media, were found to have the strongest effects on 2D astrocyte morphology, and may be important in improving existing BBB models. In addition, the novel set of quantitative parameters proposed in this paper provide a test for determining the influence of compounds on astrocyte morphology, both to screen for new endothelial cell-secreted factors that influence astrocytes, and to determine in a high-throughput way which factors are important for translation to more complex, 3D BBB models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)