Pineal cells dissociation and culture: isolated pinealocytes, isolated astrocytes, and co-culture

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Mammalian pineal glands are composed mostly of pinealocytes, which are the melatonin secretory cells, and also importantly of glial cells in special astrocytes. With the aim of studying the interactions between pinealocytes and astrocytes, the methodologies for obtaining and maintaining isolated pinealocytes and astrocytes in culture were standardized, in addition to the co-culture of both cell types. Some works of our group were published on the interactions between isolated astrocytes and pinealocytes from the pineal gland of Wistar rats, considering the modulatory role of glutamate and angiotensin on the synthesis of melatonin. In this chapter, the methodologies for obtaining and maintaining astrocytes and pinealocytes culture as well as co-culture of these two cell types will be presented.
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