Background: Severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is one of the most devastating neurological complications in preterm infants, with the majority suffering long-term neurological morbidity and up to 50% developing post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH). Despite the importance of this disease, its cytopathological mechanisms are not well known. An in vitro model of IVH is required to investigate the effects of blood and its components on the developing ventricular zone (VZ) and its stem cell niche. To address this need, we developed a protocol from our accepted in vitro model to mimic the cytopathological conditions of IVH in the preterm infant. Methods: Maturing neuroepithelial cells from the VZ were harvested from the entire lateral ventricles of wild type C57BL/6 mice at 1-4 days of age and expanded in proliferation media for 3-5 days. At confluence, cells were re-plated onto 24-well plates in differentiation media to generate ependymal cells (EC). At approximately 3-5 days, which corresponded to the onset of EC differentiation based on the appearance of multiciliated cells, phosphate-buffered saline for controls or syngeneic whole blood for IVH was added to the EC surface. The cells were examined for the expression of EC markers of differentiation and maturation to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the effect of blood exposure on VZ transition from neuroepithelial cells to EC. Discussion: This protocol will allow investigators to test cytopathological mechanisms contributing to the pathology of IVH with high temporal resolution and query the impact of injury to the maturation of the VZ. This technique recapitulates features of normal maturation of the VZ in vitro, offering the capacity to investigate the developmental features of VZ biogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalFluids and barriers of the CNS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2020


  • Cell culture
  • Ependyma
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Neonate
  • Neural stem cells
  • Post- hemorrhagic hydrocephalus
  • Premature
  • Preterm
  • Ventricular zone


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