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Cells and Culturing

For more than 50 years ATCC has been providing neurobiologists with the well-characterized and highly authenticated cells and microorganisms they need to study the nervous system and its associated pathologies.

In response to the need for equivalents of various neural cell lineages for standard controls, disease modeling, as well as drug discovery and development, ATCC offers an assortment of neural progenitor cells. These highly-characterized cells are from both normal and disease tissues, and either possess or lack lineage-dependent reporters. Reporter labelled NPCs includes GFP and Nanoluc-Halotag labels on normal cells thereby facilitating qualitative assessment.

Advantages of using NPCs include:

  • human models with no donor variation,
  • cells exhibit full differentiation spectrum,
  • they are easy to use. 

Work with differentiating or terminally differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes much sooner to yield experimental results faster.

Neural Progenitor Cells

ATCC complete solution of NPC products including NPCs and culture media provides a powerful tool for disease modeling and drug screening.


Normal and Disease iPSCs

ATCC® induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a perfect model for drug discovery, tissue repair, or disease pathogenesis. Available as ethnic and gender diverse, and normal and disease states, iPSCs may be differentiated into multiple cell types.

NEW ATCC, in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, is proud to announce the release of three cell lines for investigating the role of neuroinflammation and macrophage function in Parkinson’s disease. These cell lines will help to advance the understanding of Parkinson’s disease and further drug development toward new therapies for the millions living with this disease.

New Cell lines for Parkinson’s Research - Michael J Fox Cell Lines

Neural stem cell growth and attachment in culture may be facilitated by the addition of coating substrates such as Fibronectin and Poly-L-Lysine.  Alternately, a defined matrix for the growth and differentiation of stem cells and progenitor cells can be used, which reduces experimental variation versus undefined alternatives.

Keep Your Neural Cultures Consistent with N-21 MAX

N-21 MAX Media Supplement is an optimized alternate to traditional B27.  

Culturing primary neurons can be a challenge. Troubleshooting inconsistencies in neural media performance often hamper lab productivity and decrease confidence in your data. With R&D Systems® serum-free neural media supplements each lot is checked for performance consistency by an in-house quality team, taking the burden of batch-to-batch screening off of your to-do list. Stop worrying about your media and start getting superior and consistently healthy neuronal cultures.

  • Optimized for stem cell and neural cell cultures
  • Fully defined and serum-free to decrease experimental variability
  • Provides optimal growth conditions for neurons and neural stem cell cultures.


R&D Systems are offering FREE samples of N-21 MAX .  Register your interest on the R&D Systems website to receive your free sample


Proliferation and Diferentiation

Growth Factors

Families of growth factors known to be important for the development of neural stem cells toward different lineages include bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), Wnt proteins, and Hedgehog proteins. R&D Systems is the world’s premiere source of recombinant proteins. Extensive quality control produces industry leading bioactivity and lot-to-lot consistency that instills confidence in results and ensures reproducibility.

R&D Systems® new Recombinant Human Slit3 is the only active human Slit3 protein on the market, as evidenced by the induction of neurite outgrowth of cultured neurons. Slit3, a member of the Slit family of secreted axon guidance molecules, is a ligand for ROBO receptors.

Inhibitors and Small Molecules

Tocris Biosciences offers a unique collection of high quality inhibitors and small molecules.  These products each exhibit a specific biological activity which can be used to drive a specific cellular response.  All Tocris products are certified high purity, typically greater than 99% by HPLC.

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Differentiation Kits

While embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells can be differentiated into dopaminergic neurons and oligodendrocytes, successful differentiation is dependent on high quality media and defined differentiation supplements.  Alongside quality growth factors and small molecules, R&D Systems offers two specific Differentiation Kits to drive successful and efficient differentiation of embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells into either dopaminergic neurons or oligodendrocytes.

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Actively Explore Neuronal Differentiation Pathways

Use our interactive Neural Stem Cell Differentiation Pathway as a reference for your neural stem cell research. Identify optimal growth factors, small molecules, and antibodies for differentiating and identifying neuronal subtypes and differentiation intermediates.

Supporting Literature

 Direction of Neual Stem Cell Therapy
 ATCC Neural Progenitor Cells
 R&D Systems Neural Stem Cells
 ATCC Neurobiology Research Tools
 R&D Systems Periodic Table of Neurotrophic and Neurotactic Factors