Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

By purifying glial cells from brain tissue containing a heterogeneous cell population, a number of interactions that define glial cell diversification and function within the central nervous system have been determined. The current methods for purifying glial cells, however, can be time consuming and costly. In the following study we have adapted the technique of immunomagnetic separation to separately enrich 0-2A progenitor cells and astrocytes from the rat central nervous system (CNS). In this procedure, tissue from the CNS was enzymatically dissociated and incubated in a primary antibody specific to a surface antigen found on the target cell type (e.g. A2B5 or RAN-2). The target cells were then immunologically coupled to magnetic beads, which were precoated with a secondary antibody specific to the primary, and then separated out from the heterogeneous cell population using a magnetic field. We found that the immunomagnetic separation procedure, which was completed within 2 h, produced a near pure population of glial cells (> 99%). This was confirmed by the absence of unbound cells in the bead-bound fraction. The identification and viability of bead-bound cells were established by culturing these cells and subsequently examining their morphology and antigenic expression. This study shows that glial cell types can be separated out of brain tissue to near purity using immunomagnetic separation. This simple procedure is reliable, inexpensive, and achieves levels of purity and viability comparable with currently available techniques of immunopanning and fluorescence-activated cell sorting, within a fraction of the time.


Journal article


J Neurosci Methods

Publication Date





37 - 44


Animals, Astrocytes, Cerebral Cortex, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Immunohistochemistry, Immunomagnetic Separation, Neuroglia, Optic Nerve, Rats, Rats, Inbred Lew, Stem Cells