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We have established spontaneously immortalized Schwann cell lines from long-term cultures of adult Fischer rat peripheral nerves. One of them, termed as immortalized Fischer rat Schwann cells 1 (IFRS1), has been shown to retain distinct Schwann cell phenotypes, such as spindle-shaped morphology with expression of glial cell markers (S100, glial fibrillary acidic protein and p75 low affinity neurotrophin receptor) and transcription factors (Krox20, Oct6 and SOX10), synthesis and secretion of neurotrophic factors and cytokines, and fundamental ability to myelinate neurites in cocultures with adult rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and nerve growth factor-primed PC12 cells. Consequently, IFRS1 cells and their cocultures with neuronal cells can be beneficial tools for exploring the precise mechanisms of myelination as a result of neuron-Schwann cell interactions and the pathogenesis of demyelinating neuropathies.Keywords¾immortalized Schwann cells; coculture; myelination; demyelination
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