Towards Neuronal Organoids: A Method for Long-Term Culturing of High-Density Hippocampal Neurons

George K. Todd, Casey A. Boosalis, Aaron A. Burzycki, Michael Q. Steinman, Lynda D. Hester, Pete W. Shuster, Randen L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the goals in neuroscience is to obtain tractable laboratory cultures that closely recapitulate in vivo systems while still providing ease of use in the lab. Because neurons can exist in the body over a lifetime, long-term culture systems are necessary so as to closely mimic the physiological conditions under laboratory culture conditions. Ideally, such a neuronal organoid culture would contain multiple cell types, be highly differentiated, and have a high density of interconnected cells. However, before these types of cultures can be created, certain problems associated with long-term neuronal culturing must be addressed. We sought to develop a new protocol which may further prolong the duration and integrity of E18 rat hippocampal cultures. We have developed a protocol that allows for culturing of E18 hippocampal neurons at high densities for more than 120 days. These cultured hippocampal neurons are (i) well differentiated with high numbers of synapses, (ii) anchored securely to their substrate, (iii) have high levels of functional connectivity, and (iv) form dense multi-layered cellular networks. We propose that our culture methodology is likely to be effective for multiple neuronal subtypes-particularly those that can be grown in Neurobasal/B27 media. This methodology presents new avenues for long-term functional studies in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere58996
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 25 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards Neuronal Organoids: A Method for Long-Term Culturing of High-Density Hippocampal Neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this