Over the last two decades, primary neural cell cultures have been widely used to study many aspects of cellular neurobiology, ranging from development to pathophysiology. Such cultures offer several experimental advantages: their cellular composition is much more homogeneous than neural tissue, the cells are readily accessible to analysis and experimental perturbation, and they permit living cells to be monitored over time. In the present application, we proposed to explore the application of emerging technologies for gene expression profiling to the three best-defined culture systems for studying the biology of CNS neurons, oligodendroglia, and astroglia. We will examine the changes in gene expression that occur during the cells normal development in culture. We will also examine rapid changes in gene expression in response to agents that enhance neuronal maturation or cause oxidative stress to developing glial cells. The database detailing developmental changes in gene expression in these three culture systems will be made available on the website of OHSUs genomics core facility. These data will provide quantitative information on the cell-type specific expression of the unique ESTs being prepared as part of the Brain Molecular Anatomy Project; this information will be of general use to all neuroscientists studying gene expression in the nervous system. In addition, our data will enable any of the hundreds of neuroscientists who use these cell culture systems to follow the pattern of expression of genes relevant to their research that are included among the ESTs available during the period of this project.
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