A cell line has been established in continuous culture of human cerebral cortical neurons obtained from a patient with unilateral megalencephaly, a disorder associated with continued proliferation of immature neuronal cells. When differentiated in the presence of nerve growth factor, 1-isobutyl-3- methylxanthine, and dibutyryl adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP), the cells display mature neuronal morphology with numerous long, extensively branched processes with spines and varicosities. The cells stain positively for neurofilament protein and neuron-specific enolase (selective neuronal markers) but are negative for glial markers, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein, S-100, and myelin basic protein. The cells also stain positively for the neurotransmitters γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, somatostatin, cholecystokinin-8, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. These cells may facilitate characterization of neurons in the human central nervous system.
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