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Cell-to-cell interactions between the immune and nervous systems are increasingly recognized for their importance in health and disease. Assessment of cellular neuro-immune interactions can be aided by co-culture of two (or more) cells in an in vitro model system that preserves the morphology of neuronal cells. Here we describe methods to investigate the cytotoxic effector functions of natural killer cells on sensory neurons isolated from syngeneic embryonic and adult mice. We present methods for the morphological analysis of axon fragmentation (pruning) and dynamic cell function via live confocal calcium imaging. These techniques can easily be adapted to study interactions between other combinations of immune cell subsets and neuronal populations.

Original publication





Book title

Natural Killer (NK) Cells.


Humana, New York, NY

Publication Date





251 - 268

Total pages