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J Immunol Methods. 2000 Oct 20;244(1-2):205-15.

Isolation of endothelial cells from murine tissue.

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Department of Immunology, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12 ONN, London, UK.


The isolation and long-term culture of murine endothelial cells (ECs) has often proven a difficult task. In this paper we describe a quick, efficient protocol for the isolation of microvascular endothelial cells from murine tissues. Murine lung or heart are mechanically minced and enzymatically digested with collagenase and trypsin. The single cell suspension obtained is then incubated with an anti-CD31 antibody, anti-CD105 antibody and with biotinylated isolectin B-4. Pure EC populations are finally obtained by magnetic bead separation using rat anti-mouse Ig- and streptavidin-conjugated microbeads. EC cultures are subsequently expanded and characterised. The surface molecule expression by the primary cultures of murine EC obtained from lung and heart tissue is analysed and compared to that of a murine endothelioma and of primary cultures of murine renal tubular epithelial cells. The phenotype and morphology of these cultures remain stable over 10-15 passages in culture, and no overgrowth of contaminating cells of non-endothelial origin is observed at any stage.

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