The function of the hippocampus depends on the process of adult hippocampal neurogenesis which underpins the exceptional neural plasticity of this structure, and is also frequently affected in CNS pathologies. Thus, manipulation of this process represents an important therapeutic goal. To identify potential strategies, organotypic adult brain slices are emerging as a valuable tool. Over the recent years, this methodology has been refined and here we present a combined protocol that brings together these refinements to enable long-term culture of adult hippocampal slices. We employ a sectioning technique that retains essential afferent inputs onto the hippocampus as well as serum-free culture conditions, so allowing an extended culture period. To sustain the neurogenic potential in the slices, we utilize the gliogenesis-inhibitor Indomethacin. Using EdU retention analysis enables us to assess the effects of pharmacological intervention on neurogenesis. With these improvements, we have established an easy and reliable method to study the effects of small molecules/drugs on proliferation and neuron formation ex vivo which will facilitate future discovery driven drug screenings.
- Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
- Drug screening
- Organotypic adult slice culture
- Thyroid hormone