Isolation of Microvascular Endothelial Cells

Kenneth C.P. Cheung*, Federica M. Marelli-Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The vascular endothelium is essential to normal vascular homeostasis. Its dysfunction participates in various cardiovascular disorders. Murine endothelial cell culture is an important tool for cardiovascular disease research. This protocol demonstrates a quick, efficient method for the isolation of microvascular endothelial cells from murine tissues without any special equipment. To isolate endothelial cells, the lung or heart were mechanically minced and enzymatically digested with collagenase and trypsin. The single cell suspension obtained was then incubated with an anti-CD31, anti-CD105 antibody and with biotinylated isolectin B-4. The endothelial cells were harvested using magnetic bead separation with rat anti-mouse Ig- and streptavidin-conjugated microbeads. Endothelial cells were expanded and collected for subsequent analyses. The morphological and phenotypic features of these cultures remained stable over 10 passages in culture. There was no overgrowth of contaminating cells of non-endothelial origin at any stage.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2886
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

User-Defined Keywords

  • Primary culture
  • Endothelial cells
  • Tight junctions
  • CD31
  • Pecam1


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