The international NeuroFrance congress will take place May, 19, 20 and 21th 2021 (virtual meeting).
On this occasion, our PhD student Véronique De Conto will present these works in a poster about the importance of matricial and cellular microenvironment for drug discovery in Parkinson’s disease (summary below).
Feel free to join us at this event of the French Neuroscience Society. You can look at the high-level scientific programme here.

Véronique will be available during the congress thanks to text chat and during a dedicated live discussion May, 19th at 2pm (1 hour). Of course, if you need more information or if you want to directly discuss about your project, we will be very happy to book a time : contact us directly.

Summary of our poster

Title : Importance of matricial and cellular microenvironments in in vitro models for drug discovery in Parkinson’s disease

Introduction : There is a 90% failure in clinical trials, due to efficacy and safety issues, which frequently concerns the central nervous system. That points a lack of relevance of preclinical models used upstream. In this frame, the aim of this study was to develop more relevant cerebral in vitro models, by including the matricial and cellular microenvironments, for drug discovery in Parkinson’s disease.

Method : We cultivated Luhmes cells (a dopaminergic-like neuronal cell line) in BIOMIMESYS® Brain matrix, a hyaluronic acid-based 3D hydroscaffold mimicking the extracellular matrix (ECM). We examined the cell sensitivity to Parkinson’s disease inducers by automated confocal imaging, in comparison with cells cultivated in 2 dimensions. We also studied the impact of cellular microenvironment by including astrocytes with Luhmes cells in BIOMIMESYS® Brain, because astrocytes are involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and can impact neuronal response.

Results : Neuronal cells grew in clusters in BIOMIMESYS® hydroscaffold and we succeeded in co-cultivating them with primary astrocytes. Luhmes cells were less sensitive to Parkinson’s inducers in 3D compared to classic 2D culture, showing the impact of matricial microenvironment on cell response. Moreover, neuronal cells are also less sensitive when co-cultivated with astrocytes, highlighting the impact of cellular microenvironment.

Co-culture dopaminergic neurons (Luhmes cell line, in red) and primary human astrocytes (in green), in 2D and in BIOMIMESYS Brain hydroscaffold. In blue the nuclei. Scale bar = 200µm.

Conclusion and perspectives :
The presence of ECM and glial cells influenced the sensitivity of dopaminergic neurons to PD inducers. This model represents a useful tool for the study of complex and chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.


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