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A protocol for the isolation and culture of motor neurons from postnatal day 1 mouse spinal cord is described. After 72 h in culture, phase contrast microscopy reveals healthy cells with motor neuronal morphology and extensive neuritic processes. These neurons express the 75-kDa low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), both proteins are specifically expressed by neonatal and embryonic motor neurons in vivo. This protocol can be adapted for various postnatal motor neuron assays.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Res Brain Res Protoc

Publication Date





132 - 136


Animals, Animals, Newborn, Biomarkers, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Cell Separation, Cells, Cultured, Choline O-Acetyltransferase, Immunohistochemistry, Mice, Motor Neurons, Neurites, Neurofilament Proteins, Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor, Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor, Reproducibility of Results, Spinal Cord