Retinoic acid as a survival factor in neuronal development of the grasshopper, Locusta migratoria

Jeyathevy Sukiban, Peter Braeunig, Jorg Mey*, Katrin Bui-Goebbels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Based on experience with cell cultures of adult insect neurons, we develop a serum-free culture system for embryonic locust neurons. Influences of trophic substances on survival and neurite outgrowth of developing neurons are investigated. For the first time, a positive trophic effect of 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis RA) was shown in vitro on embryonic neurons of an insect. We observed longer cell survival of 50 % developmental stage neurons in cultures supplemented with 0.3 nM 9-cis RA. Furthermore, an influence on neuron morphology was revealed, as the addition of 9-cis RA to cell culture medium led to an increase in the number of neurites per cell. Although an RA receptor gene, LmRXR (Locusta migratoria retinoid X receptor), was expressed in the central nervous system throughout development, the influence of 9-cis RA on neuronal survival and outgrowth was restricted to 50 % stage embryonic cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Retinoic acid
  • Embryonic cell culture
  • Neuronal development
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Locusta migratoria

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