Fly neurons in culture: A model for neural development and pathology

Yaara Saad, Mai Anabosi, Sarit Anava, Golan Nadav, Yoram Yerushalmi, Amir Ayali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Primary neural cultures from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, enable a high-resolution glance into cellular processes and neuronal interaction. The development of the culture, along with its vitality and functionality, can be continuously monitored, and the abundance of available tools for D. melanogaster research can greatly assist in characterizing different aspects of the culture. The fly primary neural culture preparation thus offers a promising platform for studying a variety of processes relating to nervous system development, activity and pathology. Our data reveal that neural cultures derived from the CNS of third-instar D. melanogaster larvae undergo an organization process that is specific and consistent throughout different cultures, and culminates in the creation of an elaborate neural network. We demonstrate that this process is accompanied by detectable changes in the protein expression profile of the culture, indicating the involvement of multi-protein processes specific to each stage of the network's development. As a further proof of concept, we demonstrate differential expression of a particular protein family, the gap-junction constructing innexin protein family, throughout the network's life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Innexin
  • Neural development
  • Neural network
  • Primary culture


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