Immunomagnetic isolation of human developing motor neurons

Vincenzo Silani, Andrea Brioschi, Massimiliano Braga, Andrea Ciammola, Feng C. Zhou, Christiana Bonifati, Antonia Ratti, Antonio Pizzuti, Mauro Buscaglia, Guglielmo Scarlato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HUMAN motor neuron (MN) isolation provides a critical tool to study neurophysiological properties and the effects of molecules of clinical relevance on isolated neurons. We developed an immunomagnetic separation technique based on specific MN antigen recognition for nerve growth factor receptor (p(75-NGFR)). We cultured an average of 250 000 cells from the anterior horns of a single cord (four specimens at postconception Weeks 6.0, 7.2, 8.0, and 8.3). At day 7 in vitro (DIV), choline acetyltransferase (CHAT) and/or p(75-NGFR)-expressing cells (MNs) represented 72 ± 2% of the total growing cells. MNs survived for at least 4 weeks in biochemically defined medium. The immunomagnetic separation method has been demonstrated to be effective, reproducible, and quantitative for separation of MNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1147
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 20 1998


  • CHAT
  • Isolation
  • Motor neuron
  • p(75-NGFR)
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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