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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3540568, 6 pages
Review Article

Organotypic Cultures as a Model to Study Adult Neurogenesis in CNS Disorders

Departamento de Neurociencias, Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), 48940 Leioa, Spain

Received 17 December 2015; Accepted 22 March 2016

Academic Editor: Weixiang Guo

Copyright © 2016 Fabio Cavaliere 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.


Neural regeneration resides in certain specific regions of adult CNS. Adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life, especially from the subgranular zone of hippocampus and the subventricular zone, and can be modulated in physiological and pathological conditions. Numerous techniques and animal models have been developed to demonstrate and observe neural regeneration but, in order to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms and to characterize multiple types of cell populations involved in the activation of neurogenesis and gliogenesis, investigators have to turn to in vitro models. Organotypic cultures best recapitulate the 3D organization of the CNS and can be explored taking advantage of many techniques. Here, we review the use of organotypic cultures as a reliable and well defined method to study the mechanisms of neurogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. As an example, we will focus on the possibilities these cultures offer to study the pathophysiology of diseases like Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral ischemia.