This case study shows how a previously-described neuroprotection assay was easily and directly transferred to the Opera Phenix® high-content screening system, with a 4-fold decrease in acquisition time. In the assay, primary rat neurons are co-cultured on top of rat-derived astrocytes. To induce axon degeneration experimentally, NGF is withdrawn, leading to neuronal cell death, while astrocytes remain healthy. This can be captured by two readouts: the total axon area and the total number of nuclei. Neuroprotective drug candidates lead to an increase in the total axon area while keeping the number of nuclei (astrocytes) constant. Decreasing nuclei counts indicate a cytotoxic effect.
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