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Research Journal of Medical Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 320 - 323

Preferencial Culture of Schwann Cells from Primary Cultures of Human Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1)

M.H. Sulaiman, C.A. Kudi, J.O. Hambolu, S.A. Ojo, I.M. Hussaini, M.M. Roebuck, A.R. Dodson, T.R. Helliwell, Q. Yin and S.P. Frostick    

Abstract: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-Von Recklinghausen disease is the most frequent single-gene disorder that affects the nervous system. NF1 is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner with an estimated incidence of about 1 in 3000. The NF1 gene is mapped to chromosome 17, (17p21). Its product neurofibromin reduces cell proliferation. The apparent lack of a suitable in vitro model of human Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) has directly limited the progress of research on its tumourigenesis and therapy. The problems of establishing pure NF1 culture include the control of fibroblasts proliferation. At the moment, efforts put in place in order to extend the life span of NF1 Schwann cells and to suppress the growth of fibroblasts has yielded poor results in neurofibroma. Tumour specimens from 17 patients were processed for cell culture and grown at 37°C with 5% CO2 and 100% humidity. Key modifications in limiting fibroblast proliferation included Dulbecco modified medium devoid of 10% foetal calf serum at the initial stage of the cell culture. Following 60% confluence, the unattached cells (Schwann cells) were preferentially detached. The presence of Schwann cells and the absence of fibroblast were confirmed through the staining with S-100 protein and vimentin primary antibodies. Light microscopy demonstrated the typical spindle-shaped cells. Thus, the researchers describe an easy and efficient method of obtaining Schwann cells from NF1 tissues. These pure cultures of Schwann cells are useful tools for the study of the pathogenesis of NF1 in vitro.

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