Current needs of central nervous system therapy urge for the identification of scaffolds supporting the generation and long-term maintenance of healthy and functional neuronal tissue. We compared for the first time the viability of hippocampal neurons and astrocytes grown on conventional 2-dimensional (2D) conditions with that of cells grown on an aragonite bioactive 3-dimensional (3D) scaffold prepared from coralline exoskeleton. Cultures in 3D showed significantly lower mortality rate and higher neurons/ astrocytes ratio than 2D cultures. Moreover, whereas cell survival in 2D was arrested in the absence of the supporting substrates poly-D-lysine and laminin, these substrates had negligible effect on the 3D cultures. Furthermore, aragonite matrices supported cell survival and growth under conditions of calcium and nutrients deprivation, whereas in 2D such treatments led to death of all neurons and of almost all astrocytes. To show that the aragonite matrices are permissive for neural cells also in vivo, aragonite matrices having no substrate coating grafted into postnatal rat cortex were invaded by neurons growing on the surface and in multilayer structures resembling those seen in the 3D culture in vitro. Hence, culture of neurons and astrocytes on 3D aragonite coralline matrices is a novel mean for production of stable neuronal tissue, with significant implication to the field of neuronal tissue restoration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology