Isolation, Culture and Functional Characterization of Glia and Endothelial Cells From Adult Pig Brain

Goutam Kumar Tanti, Rajneesh Srivastava, Sudhakar Reddy Kalluri, Carina Nowak, Bernhard Hemmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Primary cultures of glial and endothelial cells are important tools for basic and translational neuroscience research. Primary cell cultures are usually generated from rodent brain although considerable differences exist between human and rodent glia and endothelial cells. Because many translational research projects aim to identify mechanisms that eventually lead to diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to target human diseases, glia, and endothelial cultures are needed that better reflect the human central nervous system (CNS). Pig brain is easily accessible and, in many aspects, close to the human brain. We established an easy and cost-effective method to isolate and culture different primary glial and endothelial cells from adult pig brain. Oligodendrocyte, microglia, astrocyte, and endothelial primary cell cultures were generated from the same brain tissue and grown for up to 8 weeks. Primary cells showed lineage-specific morphology and expressed specific markers with a purity ranging from 60 to 95%. Cultured oligodendrocytes myelinated neurons and microglia secreted tumor necrosis factor alpha when induced with lipopolysaccharide. Endothelial cells showed typical tube formation when grown on Matrigel. Astrocytes enhanced survival of co-cultured neurons and were killed by Aquaporin-4 antibody positive sera from patients with Neuromyelitis optica. In summary, we established a new method for primary oligodendrocyte, microglia, endothelial and astrocyte cell cultures from pig brain that provide a tool for translational research on human CNS diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number333
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2019


  • astrocytes
  • endothelial cells
  • glial cells
  • microglia
  • oligodendrocytes
  • pig brain
  • reliable method


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