Characterization of embryonic cortical neuron death in prolonged cell suspension

Younghye Moon, Hyun Kim, Woong Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell transplantation may be an effective therapeutic strategy for many neurodegenerative diseases. However, difficulty in obtaining a sufficient amount of donor cells and low graft survival are two major limiting factors. Dissociation of cells from tissues or culture is an inevitable step for cell transplantation, and cell viability in suspension may influence the outcome of the cell therapy. To this end, we asked whether the suspension time of freshly dissociated neurons in vitro affects their viability. Following 4-24. h cell suspension, primary cortical neurons underwent cell death. Interestingly, the neurons exhibited only marginal caspase-3 immunoreactivity with very few sub-G1 apoptotic cell proportions in flow cytometry. In addition, the suppression of caspase-3 or Bax action failed to prevent cell death of primary cortical neurons, indicating minimal apoptotic cell death. On the other hand, there was a marked increase in the TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling-positive and propidium iodide-labeled necrotic cells (∼50%) with enhanced poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase-1 activity. Therefore, prevention against necrosis rather than apoptosis may be required for optimal benefits in cell transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr. Nam Hee Won for valuable advice. This work was supported by grants from the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology , via the Brain Research Center of the 21st Century Frontier Program in Neuroscience ( 2012K001108 ) and the National Research Foundation of Korea ( 20120005815 ).


  • Apoptosis
  • Embryonic cortical neurons
  • Necrosis
  • Suspension
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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