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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultrastructural identification of Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 positive cells in primary dissociated cell cultures of human embryonic brain.

While Ricinus communis agglutinin 1 ( RCA-1) can be used as a specific marker to study the development and differentiation of microglial cells in human embryogenesis, little is known about the structural heterogeneity and nature of RCA-1+ cells. To analyse the structural peculiarities of RCA-1+ cells, we have used primary dissociated cultures of human embryonic brain. These have been used as models for investigating many of the aspects of central nervous system (CNS) HIV infection. We have shown that primary dissociated cultures from human embryos as young as 10 weeks gestation contain RCA-1+ cells. The RCA-1+ cells exist in two forms, those without (type I) and those with (type II) processes. The former have a poorly developed ultrastructure, while the latter have well developed ultrastructural features, such as rough endoplasmic reticulum with short cisternae, abundant ribosomes, mitochondria, lysosomes and vacuoles. Furthermore, some of these cells with processes have well developed cytoskeletal features. In this paper, the classification of RCA-1+ cells of embryonic human brain is considered and their morphology compared to microglia identified in rodent CNS.[1]


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