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NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement

Supplement for the serum-free culture of primary tissue-derived neurons and hPSC-derived neural progenitor cells

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NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement

Supplement for the serum-free culture of primary tissue-derived neurons and hPSC-derived neural progenitor cells

10 mL
Catalog #05711
93 USD

Required Products


NeuroCult™ SM1 (STEMCELL Modified-1) Neuronal Supplement is a standardized serum-free supplement for the culture of primary tissue-derived neurons and human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells.

The NeuroCult™ SM1 formulation was developed based on the published formulation of Brewer’s B27 supplement (Brewer et al.). It has been optimized to reproducibly support increased survival and maturation of functional neurons in both short- and long-term cultures with minimal glial cell contamination (< 1% GFAP+). NeuroCult™ SM1 may be used in combination with BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium (Catalog #05790) or as a serum-replacement supplement for various customizable applications.
NeuroCult™ SM1 is also a component of BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium and SM1 Kit (Catalog #05792), BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium N2-A & SM1 Kit (Catalog #05793), and BrainPhys™ Primary Neuron Kit (Catalog #05794). For further details and protocols, refer to the Product Information Sheet (PIS) for BrainPhys™ (Document #DX20519), available at or contact us to request a copy.
• Formulated to support improved cell survival in long-term primary neuronal culture
• Cultures feature increased neurite outgrowth and branching in short- and long-term cultures
• Product undergoes rigorous performance testing
• Antioxidants
• Vitamin A
• Insulin
• Other ingredients
Cell Type:
Neural Cells, PSC-Derived; Neurons; Pluripotent Stem Cells
Human; Mouse; Rat
Cell Culture; Differentiation; Maintenance
Area of Interest:
Neuroscience; Stem Cell Biology
Serum-Free; Defined

Scientific Resources

Data and Publications


Morphology of Neurons in Representative NeuroCult™ SM1 Cultures at 7 and 21 Days in Vitro

Figure 1. Protocol for Plating and Culturing Primary Neurons with the SM1 Culture System

Primary rodent tissue dissociated in papain was plated in NeuroCult™ Neuronal Plating Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, L-Glutamine, and L-Glutamic Acid. On day 5, primary neurons were transitioned to BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement, by performing half-medium changes every 3 - 4 days.

Number of Neurons in NeuroCult™ SM1 and TSFM Cultures After 7 and 21 Days in Vitro

Figure 2. The SM1 Culture System Supports Long-Term Culture of Rodent Neurons

Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System. A large number of viable neurons are visible after (A) 21 and (B) 35 days, as demonstrated by their bright neuronal cell bodies, and extensive neurite outgrowth and branching. Neurons are evenly distributed over the culture surface with minimal cell clumping.

Neurite Outgrowth of Primary Neurons Cultured in NeuroCult™ SM1 and TSFM for 7 and 21 Days

Figure 3. Pre- and Post-Synaptic Markers are Expressed in Rodent Neurons Cultured in the SM1 Culture System

Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System. At 21 DIV, neurons are phenotypically mature, as indicated by the presence of an extensive dendritic arbor, and appropriate expression and localization of pre-synaptic synapsin (A,C; green) and post-synaptic PSD-95 (A,B; red) markers. Synapsin is concentrated in discrete puncta distributed along the somata and dendritic processes, as defined by the dendritic marker MAP2 (A,D; blue).

Neurite Branching of Primary Neurons Cultured in NeuroCult™ SM1 and TSFM for 7 and 21 Days

Figure 4. The SM1 Culture System Supports Increased Cell Survival

(A) Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in the SM1 Culture System or a Competitor Culture System for 21 days. Neurons cultured in the SM1 Culture System have a significantly higher number of viable cells compared to the competitor culture system (n = 4; mean ± 95% CI; *p < 0.05). (B) Primary E18 rat cortical neurons were cultured in Neurobasal® supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement (SM1) or competitor B27-like supplements (Competitor 1,2,3) for 21 days. Cultures supplemented with NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement have an equal number of neurons compared to competitor-supplemented cultures. Bars represent standard error of mean.


Scientific reports 2018 MAY

Acute Physiology and Neurologic Outcomes after Brain Injury in SCOP/PHLPP1 KO Mice.

T. C. Jackson et al.


Suprachiasmatic nucleus circadian oscillatory protein (SCOP) (a.k.a. PHLPP1) regulates long-term memory consolidation in the brain. Using a mouse model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) we tested if (1) brain tissue levels of SCOP/PHLPP1 increase after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and (2) if SCOP/PHLPP1 gene knockout (KO) mice have improved (or worse) neurologic outcomes. Blood chemistry (pH, pCO2, pO2, pSO2, base excess, sodium bicarbonate, and osmolarity) and arterial pressure (MAP) differed in isoflurane anesthetized WT vs. KOs at baseline and up to 1 h post-injury. CCI injury increased cortical/hippocampal SCOP/PHLPP1 levels in WTs 7d and 14d post-injury. Injured KOs had higher brain tissue levels of phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) in cortex (14d post-injury), and higher levels of phosphorylated MEK (pMEK) in hippocampus (7d and 14d post-injury) and in cortex (7d post-injury). Consistent with an important role of SCOP/PHLPP1 on memory function, injured-KOs had near normal performance on the probe trial of the Morris water maze, whereas injured-WTs were impaired. CA1/CA3 hippocampal survival was lower in KOs vs. WTs 24 h post-injury but equivalent by 7d. No difference in 21d cortical lesion volume was detected. SCOP/PHLPP1 overexpression in cultured rat cortical neurons had no effect on 24 h cell death after a mechanical stretch-injury.
Cell reports 2018 JUN

CaMKII Metaplasticity Drives Abeta$ Oligomer-Mediated Synaptotoxicity.

P. Opazo et al.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is emerging as a synaptopathology driven by metaplasticity. Indeed, reminiscent of metaplasticity, oligomeric forms of the amyloid-beta$ peptide (oAbeta$) prevent induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) via the prior activation of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs). However, the downstream Ca2+-dependent signaling molecules that mediate aberrant metaplasticity are unknown. In this study, we show that oAbeta$ promotes the activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) via GluN2B-containing NMDARs. Importantly, we find that CaMKII inhibition rescues both the LTP impairment and the dendritic spine loss mediated by oAbeta$. Mechanistically resembling metaplasticity, oAbeta$ prevents subsequent rounds of plasticity from inducing CaMKII T286 autophosphorylation, as well as the associated anchoring and accumulation of synaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Finally, prolonged oAbeta$ treatment-induced CaMKII misactivation leads to dendritic spine loss via the destabilization of surface AMPARs. Thus, our study demonstrates that oAbeta$ engages synaptic metaplasticity via aberrant CaMKII activation.
Cell reports 2018 JUL

Neuronal Activity and Intracellular Calcium Levels Regulate Intracellular Transport of Newly Synthesized AMPAR.

E. Hangen et al.


Regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking is a key modulator of excitatory synaptic transmission; however, intracellular vesicular transport of newly synthesized AMPARs has been little studied due to technical limitations. By combining molecular tools with imaging strategies in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we found that vesicles containing newly synthesized, GluA1-subunit-containing AMPARs are transported antero- and retrogradely at a mean speed of 1.5 mu$m.s-1. Synaptic activity and variations in intracellular calcium levels bidirectionally modulate GluA1 transport. Chemical long-term potentiation (cLTP) initially induces a halt in GluA1 transport, followed by a sustained increase, while acute glutamate uncaging on synaptic spines arrests vesicular movements. GluA1 phosphomimetic mutants preferentially travel to the dendritic tip, probably to replenish extrasynaptic pools, distal to the soma. Our findings indicate that AMPAR intracellular transport is highly regulated during synaptic plasticity and likely controls AMPAR numbers at the plasma membrane.
Scientific reports 2018 JUL

Toxicological evaluation of convulsant and anticonvulsant drugs in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neuronal networks using an MEA system.

A. Odawara et al.


Functional evaluation assays using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons can predict the convulsion toxicity of new drugs and the neurological effects of antiepileptic drugs. However, differences in responsiveness depending on convulsant type and antiepileptic drugs, and an evaluation index capable of comparing in vitro responses with in vivo responses are not well known. We observed the difference in synchronized burst patterns in the epileptiform activities induced by pentylentetrazole (PTZ) and 4-aminopryridine (4-AP) with different action mechanisms using multi-electrode arrays (MEAs); we also observed that 100 µM of the antiepileptic drug phenytoin suppressed epileptiform activities induced by PTZ, but increased those induced by 4-AP. To compare in vitro results with in vivo convulsive responses, frequency analysis of below 250 Hz, excluding the spike component, was performed. The in vivo convulsive firing enhancement of the high gamma$ wave and beta$ wave component were observed remarkably in in vitro hiPSC-derived neurons with astrocytes in co-culture. MEA measurement of hiPSC-derived neurons in co-culture with astrocytes and our analysis methods, including frequency analysis, appear effective for predicting convulsion toxicity, side effects, and their mechanism of action as well as the comparison of convulsions induced in vivo.
European Journal of Neuroscience 2018 JAN

Preservation of neuronal functions by exosomes derived from different human neural cell types under ischemic conditions

Deng M et al.


Stem cell-based therapies have been reported in protecting cerebral infarction-induced neuronal dysfunction and death. However, most studies used rat/mouse neuron as model cell when treated with stem cell or exosomes. Whether these findings can be translated from rodent to humans has been in doubt. Here, we used human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons to detect the protective potential of exosomes against ischemia. Neurons were treated with in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) for 1 h. For treatment group, different exosomes were derived from neuron, embryonic stem cell, neural progenitor cell and astrocyte differentiated from H9 human embryonic stem cell and added to culture medium 30 min after OGD (100 μg/mL). Western blotting was performed 12 h after OGD, while cell counting and electrophysiological recording were performed 48 h after OGD. We found that these exosomes attenuated OGD-induced neuronal death, Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), pro-inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathway changes, as well as basal spontaneous synaptic transmission inhibition in varying degrees. The results implicate the protective effect of exosomes on OGD-induced neuronal death and dysfunction in human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons, potentially through their modulation on mTOR, pro-inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways.