Primary neuron and astrocyte cultures from postnatal Callithrix jacchus: a non-human primate in vitro model for research in neuroscience, nervous system aging, and neurological diseases of aging

Angela O. Dorigatti, Stacy A. Hussong, Stephen F. Hernandez, Aubrey M. Sills, Adam B. Salmon, Veronica Galvan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability to generate in vitro cultures of neuronal cells has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the nervous system. Rodent models have been the principal source of brain cells used in primary cultures for over a century, providing insights that are widely applicable to human diseases. However, therapeutic agents that showed benefit in rodent models, particularly those pertaining to aging and age-associated dementias, have frequently failed in clinical trials. This discrepancy established a potential “translational gap” between human and rodent studies that may at least partially be explained by the phylogenetic distance between rodent and primate species. Several non-human primate (NHP) species, including the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), have been used extensively in neuroscience research, but in contrast to rodent models, practical approaches to the generation of primary cell culture systems amenable to molecular studies that can inform in vivo studies are lacking. Marmosets are a powerful model in biomedical research and particularly in studies of aging and age-associated diseases because they exhibit an aging phenotype similar to humans. Here, we report a practical method to culture primary marmoset neurons and astrocytes from brains of medically euthanized postnatal day 0 (P0) marmoset newborns that yield highly pure primary neuron and astrocyte cultures. Primary marmoset neuron and astrocyte cultures can be generated reliably to provide a powerful NHP in vitro model in neuroscience research that may enable mechanistic studies of nervous system aging and of age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Because neuron and astrocyte cultures can be used in combination with in vivo approaches in marmosets, primary marmoset neuron and astrocyte cultures may help bridge the current translational gap between basic and clinical studies in nervous system aging and age-associated neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalGeroScience
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Callithrix jacchus
  • Nervous system aging
  • Neurological diseases
  • Neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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