Functional regeneration of intraspinal connections in a new in vitro model

Heidemann, Martina; Streit, Jürg; Tscherter, Anne (2014). Functional regeneration of intraspinal connections in a new in vitro model. Neuroscience, 262, pp. 40-52. Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.051

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Abstract—Regeneration in the adult mammalian spinal cord is limited due to intrinsic properties of mature neurons and a hostile environment, mainly provided by central nervous system myelin and reactive astrocytes. Recent results indicate that propriospinal connections are a promising target for intervention to improve functional recovery. To study this functional regeneration in vitro we developed a model consisting of two organotypic spinal cord slices placed adjacently on multi-electrode arrays. The electrodes allow us to record the spontaneously occurring neuronal activity, which is often organized in network bursts. Within a few days in vitro (DIV), these bursts become synchronized between the two slices due to the formation of axonal connections. We cut them with a scalpel at different time points
in vitro and record the neuronal activity 3 weeks later. The functional recovery ability was assessed by calculating the percentage of synchronized bursts between the two slices. We found that cultures lesioned at a young age (7–9 DIV) retained the high regeneration ability of embryonic tissue. However, cultures lesioned at older ages (>19 DIV) displayed a distinct reduction of synchronized activity. This reduction was not accompanied by an inability for axons to cross the lesion site. We show that functional regeneration
in these old cultures can be improved by increasing the intracellular cAMP level with Rolipram or by placing a young slice next to an old one directly after the lesion. We conclude that co-cultures of two spinal cord slices are an
appropriate model to study functional regeneration of intraspinal

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Heidemann, Martina, Streit, Jürg, Tscherter, Anne


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Stefan von Känel-Zimmermann

Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2014 12:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:29

Publisher DOI:





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