Q. From what age and strain of rat are Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes derived?

A. Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes are isolated from the cortex of fetal (E19) Sprague Dawley rats.

Q. At what passage were Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes cryopreserved?

A. Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes were cryopreserved in growth medium containing 10% DMSO at passage 1 (P1).

Q. What is the difference, if any, between cortical and hippocampal astrocytes?

A. There are few known differences between cortical and hippocampal astrocytes. However, it has been reported that astrocytes from different regions of the brain show a differential sensitivity to ischemic injury (Zhao and Flavin, 2000; Xu et al. 2001).

Q. Is there any difference between cortical astrocytes isolated from fetal, postnatal and adult tissue?

A. Primary rat astrocytes are typically isolated from late fetal or early postnatal brain because the resulting astrocytes are more viable in culture and of higher purity than astrocytes from adult brain.

Q. What is the viability of the cells once thawed?

A. Upon thawing, the vial has more than 70% viability, which will give more than 1 million live cells.

Q. What is the % purity of these cells?

A. Cell purity was evaluated in terms of the expression of astrocyte specific maker GFAP. More than 80% of the cells were positive for GFAP marker and the expression of neuronal marker (DCX) and oligodendrocyte marker (GalC) were less than 10%.

Q. How many passages can these cells be expanded?

A. Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes can be thawed, recovered and proliferated up to three passages to yield 1.5–2 fold increase of cells.

Q. What is the doubling time of the cells?

A. The doubling time of Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes is about 8.7 days.

Q. How can the cells be coated on glass coverslips?

A. Clean the coverslips and then coat them with 0.01% poly-D-lysine in double distilled water.

Q. I used astrocytes from another company and observed cell aggregates after thawing but not the astrocytes from your company.  Why?

A. Gibco Rat primary cortical astrocytes were dissociated into single cell before cryopreservation, which gives an advantage to control the number of cells to plate. 

Q. What are some of the key applications for astrocytes?

A. Astrocytes can be used to research cell transplantation, intracellular transport, ion-channel function, toxicity, receptor signaling, analyses of electophysiological properties, neurotransmitter release and evaluation of interaction between neurons and astrocytes.

Q. What related products can be used with these cells?