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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 223-232

Isolation of Enteric Ganglia from the Myenteric Plexus of Adult Rats

Center for Paralysis Research and Department of Anatomy, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Enteric neurons and glia cells were isolated from adult Sprague Dawley rats. A procedure is described using a combination of microdissection and mechanical dissociation after enzyme treatment which yields large numbers of cell clusters suitable for tissue culture and grafting into the injured spinal cord. Differentiated enteric ganglia remained viable for at least 5 days in vitro Cultured neurons expressed histochemical reactivity for acetylcholinesterase and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase. Nestin positive glia, which represented a population of non-myelinating enteric Schwann cells, could also be identified in cultures maintained 5 days or longer in vitro. The myenteric plexus of adult rats can provide a readily available source of neurons and Schwann cells for grafting to the central nervous system.