Generation of a radial-like glial cell line

David R. Friedlander, Perry A. Brittis, Takeshi Sakurai, Bronya Shif, William Wirchansky, Gord Fishell, Martin Grumet

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22 Scopus citations


Rat C6 glioma is a cell line that has been used extensively as a model of astroglia. Although this cell line retains many of the properties of developing glia, it does not resemble morphologically the specialized form of glia found embryonically, the radial glia. In experiments designed to study a mutant form of receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase β, we isolated a subclone of C6 called C6-R which, like radial glia, assumes a highly polarized radial-like morphology in culture. C6-R cells and, to a somewhat lesser extent, C6 cells, express cytoskeletal proteins found in developing astroglia including glial fibrillary acidic protein and RC1. As seen with radial glia, cerebellar granule cell bodies and neurites migrated along radial processes of C6-R cells in culture. Morphological analysis of dye- labeled cells injected into the developing forebrain revealed that a large fraction (~60%) of the C6-R cells in the cortex assumed a radial orientation and about half of these (~30%) made contact with the pial surface. In contrast, the parental C6 cells generally formed aggregates and only displayed a radial alignment when associated with blood vessels. These results suggest that we have generated a stable cell line from C6 glioma which has adopted certain key features of radial glia, including the ability to promote neuronal migration in culture and integrate radially in vivo in response to local cues. This cell line may be particularly useful for studying receptors on radial glia that mediate neuronal migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 5 Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • C6 glioma
  • Cerebellar granule cells
  • Neuronal migration
  • RPTPβ
  • Radial glia


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