The use of RNA interference (RNAi) in mammalian cells has become a powerful tool for the analysis of gene function. Here we discuss the use of DNA vectors to produce short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) and inhibit gene expression in mammalian neural progenitors and neurons. Protocols are presented for introducing shRNA vectors into mouse P19 cells differentiated as neurons in vitro and for electroporation of shRNA vectors into primary neural progenitors from the embryonic mouse dorsal telencephalon (prospective cerebral cortex). Transfected primary cortical progenitors can be differentiated in vitro either in dissociated culture or organotypic slice culture. The use of shRNA vectors for RNAi provides a versatile approach to understand gene function during mammalian neural development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology