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Nat Protoc. 2007;2(3):481-5.

A protocol for isolation and culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biochimie et Biologie Cellulaire-UPRES JE 2493, UFR de Pharmacie, Université Paris-Sud 11, 3 rue Jean-Baptiste Clément, 92290 Châtenay-Malabry, France.


We describe a protocol for easy isolation and culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to supply every researcher with a method that can be applied in cell biology laboratories with minimum equipment. Endothelial cells (ECs) are isolated from umbilical vein vascular wall by a collagenase treatment, then seeded on fibronectin-coated plates and cultured in a medium with Earles' salts and fetal calf serum (FCS), but without growth factor supplementation, for 7 days in a 37 degrees C-5% CO2 incubator. Cell confluency can be monitored by phase-contrast microscopy; ECs can be characterized using cell surface or intracellular markers and checked for contamination. Various protocols can be applied to HUVECs, from simple harvesting to a particular solubilization of proteins for proteomic analysis.

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