POSTER link: MEA meeting 2018
It has been demonstrated that sensory neurons possess electrical activity in response to different excitatory stimuli already after 1 day in vitro; however, in the case of purified neurons, this activity disappears after 2 days in vitro. This cannot be explained by a lack in the capsaicin receptor TRPV1, whose presence has been proved by calcium-imaging experiment. The ability of purified sensory neurons to maintain their electrical activity shortly after being plated suggests the presence of a “memory effect”, that allows them to behave as in vivo, effect that disappears as the culture timeline increases, as noticed from the MEA recording data. All these data combined lead to the hypothesis that non-neuronal cells, such as Schwann cells and satellite glial cells, play an active role in the activity of sensory neurons, and their absence lead to a loss of functionality in these neurons. Future studies, which include perforated patch-clamp experiments, will be required to understand the loss of electrical activity in purified sensory neurons, identify proteins that are dysregulated in purified sensory neurons, and their relationship with non-neuronal cells.