The techniques of tissue culture were introduced at the beginning of this century. They have become more and more popular as it is realized that they are not as difficult or as esoteric as some early protagonists liked to maintain. Most of the work performed with culture methods has simply concerned cell growth and survival. Biologists have long used culture approaches to provide a simple system in which to study cell division and multiplication. Any pharmacology done on cultured tissue was largely toxicological or as part of a screening programme for poten- tial anti-cancer drugs. In the last decade there has been a great increase in the use of excitable cells in tissue culture. Nerves and muscles from a wide variety of sources can maintain their highly differentiated properties in culture. Such cultures offer an attractive preparation for use in physiological and pharmacological investigations. Consequently, a vast amount of work has been produced, and this book is an attempt to review it. It is hoped that this will introduce physiologists and pharmacologists to the potential of culture methods for their experiments and also indicate to more traditional tissue culture users further possible areas of interest. By being more comprehensive in scope and by trying to concentrate largely on drug actions, I hope that the present volume usefully extends the treatment of the subject begun earlier in the excellent works by Crain (1976) and Nelson and Lieberman (1981).
The Pharmacology of Nerve and Muscle in Tissue Culture
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