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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4280407, 15 pages
Research Article

The Three-Dimensional Culture System with Matrigel and Neurotrophic Factors Preserves the Structure and Function of Spiral Ganglion Neuron In Vitro

1Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250022, China
2Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Otology, Jinan 250022, China
3Key Laboratory for Developmental Genes and Human Disease, Ministry of Education, Institute of Life Sciences, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
4Co-Innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China
5College of Medicine, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA

Received 14 September 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Pablo R. Moya

Copyright © 2016 Gaoying Sun et al. 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.


Whole organ culture of the spiral ganglion region is a resourceful model system facilitating manipulation and analysis of live sprial ganglion neurons (SGNs). Three-dimensional (3D) cultures have been demonstrated to have many biomedical applications, but the effect of 3D culture in maintaining the SGNs structure and function in explant culture remains uninvestigated. In this study, we used the matrigel to encapsulate the spiral ganglion region isolated from neonatal mice. First, we optimized the matrigel concentration for the 3D culture system and found the 3D culture system protected the SGNs against apoptosis, preserved the structure of spiral ganglion region, and promoted the sprouting and outgrowth of SGNs neurites. Next, we found the 3D culture system promoted growth cone growth as evidenced by a higher average number and a longer average length of filopodia and a larger growth cone area. 3D culture system also significantly elevated the synapse density of SGNs. Last, we found that the 3D culture system combined with neurotrophic factors had accumulated effects in promoting the neurites outgrowth compared with 3D culture or NFs treatment only groups. Together, we conclude that the 3D culture system preserves the structure and function of SGN in explant culture.