Volume 95 Issue 14 | p. 10 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 3, 2017

Sorting neurons from preserved brain tissue

New methods allow researchers to sort cells in chemically fixed, frozen brain tissue by using flow cytometry
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: separations, flow cytometry, neuroscience, cell sorting, neurons, brain tissue
[+]Enlarge
New sample preparation methods allow researchers to sort cells in preserved brain tissue using flow cytometry.
Credit: Thanakrit Sathavornmanee\Shutterstock
Photo of preserved brain tissue.
 
New sample preparation methods allow researchers to sort cells in preserved brain tissue using flow cytometry.
Credit: Thanakrit Sathavornmanee\Shutterstock

Neuroscientists routinely store brain tissue samples in brain banks for future analysis. Being able to use cell-sorting techniques such as flow cytometry on this preserved tissue would allow researchers to study the effects of drugs, environmental factors, and diseases on specific brain cell types. However, it’s difficult to separate cells from chemically fixed, frozen tissue samples and prepare them for flow cytometry without causing damage. Now, Charles D. Nichols of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans and colleagues have developed new protocols to overcome these limitations (ACSChem. Neurosci. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00374). The researchers separated cells from human and rodent brain tissue samples—fixed using preservatives such as formalin, zinc, and paraformaldehyde—by passing liquefied frozen tissue through needles multiple times and applying an enzyme solution that cleaves chemical bonds between cells. They then fluorescently tagged the cells and passed cell suspensions through a flow cytometer to isolate two types of neurons. Importantly, the researchers were able to perform downstream genetic and biochemical analyses on these recovered cells, indicating the cells were undamaged.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment