We have developed a novel culture model to grow adult mice spinal cord cells. The model consisted of a serum-free medium supplemented with different growth factors, nanoparticles and a silane substrate. The following growth factors and nanoparticles constitute the novel serum-free medium: Acidic FGF, Heparan-Sulphate, GDNF, BDNF, CNTF, CT-1, NT-3, NT-4, VEGF, LIF, Vitronectin, B27 supplement, G5 supplement and Cerium oxide nanoparticles. Synergistic effects of these growth factors, nanoparticles and silane substrate promote survival and growth of spinal-cord neurons and glial cells. Based on the cell body size, number of processes and process lengths the cells were categorized into three different groups: Groups I, II and III. Apart from these three cell groups, some of the cells grew in clumps. We categorized the clumps as Group IV. Cells were immunocytochemically characterized by antibodies against NF-150 and GFAP. The cells in Group I, which were found in a small percentage (∼10%) in each culture, were then further characterized. These cells had large, multi-polar, cell bodies (30–35 m) and long processes (∼500–800 m) and they also stained positive for all three motoneuron specific antibodies; ChAT, Islet-1 and MO-1. Based on morphological and immunocytochemical analysis it was concluded that this small percentage of large, multi-polar cells were regenerating motoneurons. Preliminary electrophysiological studies indicated that the cells with this neuronal morphology fired single action potentials. This novel model system could be used as a tool to study spinal injuries and neurodegenerative diseases of aging spinal cord.
Recent advances in nanomaterials indicates that the central nervous system (CNS) is susceptible to nanoparticle induced alterations leading to functional or structural alterations. This knowledge is currently disseminated in vast array of journals dealing with broad subject areas related to pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience or nanosciences. Thus, there is an urgent need to collect all these diverse information related to nanoscience and brain function in one place using Journal of Nanoneuroscience for the benefit of the scientific community, researchers, health planners, health care providers, policy makers, environmentalists, biologists, chemists, and physicist in this emerging area of medical science.