We compared six different substrata for their ability to promote attachment, neurite extension and short-term survival of dissociated human fetal dorsal root ganglion neurons. The substrata were laminin, fibronectin, polylysine, type I collagen, a combination of collagen and polylysine, and bare plastic surface. The results show laminin and fibronectin, two important constituents of the extracellular matrix of the nervous system, to be comparable in efficiency and the best substrata for the successful in vitro growth of human fetal dorsal root ganglion neurons. The present study also supports the notion that the development of the nervous system in vivo and in vitro may be critically dependent on the components of the extracellular matrix.

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