A METHOD FOR PURIFYING ENTERIC GLIA FROM RAT MYENTERIC PLEXUS Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The enteric nervous system is a large and complex division of the peripheral nervous system. The glia associated with it share some characteristics with the olfactory-ensheathing glia, astrocytes and Schwann cells. To facilitate studies of rat enteric glia, we have developed a method for preparing them in large quantities with a high degree of homogeneity. The enteric glia were isolated from the small intestine of Wistar rats by enzymatic digestion with dispase. The cell isolate was added to a mitotically arrested layer of 3T3 cells. Subsequent separation of the enteric glia from the 3T3 cells was done enzymatically, with unavoidable loss of many enteric glia and potential contamination of enteric glia cultures with the 3T3 cells. Therefore, 3T3 cells were cultured in Nunc 0.2-microm tissue culture inserts that could be readily removed from the wells when no longer needed. There was no loss of the enteric glia. The cultures consisted entirely of GFAP-labeled cells, presumptive enteric glia. This method permits the culturing of large numbers of highly purified enteric glia without the use of expensive growth factors and complement-mediated cytolysis.

publication date

  • 2002