After many years of hard work, my first first author publication was accepted at MDPI: Methods and Protocols. The paper has been published as open access and can be freely viewed at MDPI.

The neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y has been a well-established and very popular in vitro model in neuroscience for decades, especially focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. The ability of this cell type to differentiate compared with other models in neurobiology makes it one of the few suitable models without having to rely on a primary culture of neuronal cells. Over the years, various, partly contradictory, methods of cultivation have been reported. This study is intended to provide a comprehensive guide to the in vitro cultivation of undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells. For this purpose, the morphology of the cell line and the differentiation of the individual subtypes are described, and instructions for cell culture practice and long-term cryoconservation are provided. We describe the key growth characteristics of this cell line, including proliferation and confluency data, optimal initial seeding cell numbers, and a comparison of different culture media and cell viability during cultivation. Furthermore, applying an optimized protocol in a long-term cultivation over 60 days, we show that cumulative population doubling (CPD) is constant over time and does not decrease with incremental passage, enabling stable cultivation, for example, for recurrent differentiation to achieve the highest possible reproducibility in subsequent analyses. Therefore, we provide a solid guidance for future research that employs the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y​1​.

“Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to provide details for exactly this purpose.”

  1. 1.
    Feles S, Overath C, Reichardt S, et al. Streamlining Culture Conditions for the Neuroblastoma Cell Line SH-SY5Y: A Prerequisite for Functional Studies. MPs. Published online July 12, 2022:58. doi:10.3390/mps5040058