Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
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1 Q&A 632 Views Oct 20, 2023

Dendritic cells have been investigated for cell-based immunotherapy for various applications. The low abundance of dendritic cells in blood hampers their clinical application, resulting in the use of monocyte-derived dendritic cells as an alternative cell type. Limited knowledge is available regarding blood-circulating human dendritic cells, which can be divided into three subsets: type 2 conventional dendritic cells, type 1 conventional dendritic cells, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. These subsets exhibit unique and desirable features for dendritic cell-based therapies. To enable efficient and reliable human research on dendritic cell subsets, we developed an efficient isolation protocol for the three human dendritic cell subsets, resulting in pure populations. The sequential steps include peripheral blood mononuclear cell isolation, magnetic-microbead lineage depletion (CD14, CD56, CD3, and CD19), and individual magnetic-microbead isolation of the three human dendritic cell subsets.

Graphical overview

Scheme of the dendritic cell (DC) isolation protocol. Starting material for this process is human blood (buffy coat or aphaeresis). From that, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are isolated by using ficoll gradient centrifugation. Then, an enrichment for DCs is performed using semi-automated equipment. From the enriched fraction, DC subsets are obtained by magnetic cell sorting.

0 Q&A 511 Views Jul 5, 2023

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are a non-conventional T-cell population expressing a conserved semi-invariant T-cell receptor (TCR) that reacts to lipid antigens, such as α-galactosyl ceramide (α-GalCer), presented by the monomorphic molecule CD1d. iNKT cells play a central role in tumor immunosurveillance and represent a powerful tool for anti-cancer treatment, notably because they can be efficiently redirected against hematological or solid malignancies by engineering with tumor-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or TCRs. However, iNKT cells are rare and require specific ex vivo pre-selection and substantial in vitro expansion to be exploited for adoptive cell therapy (ACT). This protocol describes a robust method to obtain a large number of mouse iNKT cells that can be effectually engineered by retroviral (RV) transduction. A major advantage of this protocol is that it requires neither particular instrumentation nor a high number of mice. iNKT cells are enriched from the spleens of iVα14-Jα18 transgenic mice; the rapid purification protocol yields a highly enriched iNKT cell population that is activated by anti-CD3/CD28 beads, which is more reproducible and less time consuming than using bone marrow–derived dendritic cells loaded with α-GalCer, without risks of expanding contaminant T cells. Forty-eight hours after activation, iNKT cells are transduced with the selected RV by spin inoculation. This protocol allows to obtain, in 15 days, millions of ready-to-use, highly pure, and stably transduced iNKT cells that might be exploited for in vitro assays and ACT experiments in preclinical studies.

2 Q&A 2797 Views Mar 5, 2022

Osteoclast lineage cells (OLCs), including osteoclast precursors (OCPs) and mature osteoclasts (MOCs), participate in bone remodeling and mediate pathologic bone loss. Thus, it is essential to obtain OLCs for exploring their molecular features in both physiological and pathological conditions in vivo. However, the conventional protocols for obtaining OLCs ex vivo are not only time-consuming, but also unable to capture the cellular status of OLCs in vivo. In addition, the current antibody-based isolation approaches, such as fluorescence-/ magnetic-activated cell sorting, are not able to obtain pure osteoclasts because no unique surface antigen for osteoclasts has been identified. Here, we develop a rapid protocol for directly isolating OLCs from mouse bone marrow through magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). This protocol can rapidly enrich OCPs and MOCs, respectively, depending on the expression of the distinctive surface markers at their differentiation stages. It is optimized to isolate OLCs from four mice concurrently, of which sorting procedure could be completed within ~5 h.

0 Q&A 2421 Views Nov 20, 2021

In the bone marrow microenvironment, endothelial cells (ECs) play a pivotal role in regulating the production of both growth and inhibiting factors. They are held together by adherence molecules that interact with hematopoietic progenitor cells. The study of ECs in the hematopoietic stem cell niche is limited due to the lack of efficient protocols for isolation. In this protocol, we developed a two-step approach to extract bone marrow endothelial cells (BMECs) to unlock the challenges researchers face in understanding the function of the endothelial vascular niche in in-vitro studies.

0 Q&A 3486 Views Jan 20, 2020
Infantile hemangioma (IH) is a vascular tumor noted for its excessive blood vessel formation during infancy, glucose-transporter-1 (GLUT1)-positive staining of the blood vessels, and its slow spontaneous involution over several years in early childhood. For most children, IH poses no serious threat because it will eventually involute, but a subset can destroy facial structures and impair vision, breathing and feeding. To unravel the molecular mechanism(s) driving IH-specific vascular overgrowth, which to date remains elusive, investigators have studied IH histopathology, the cellular constituents and mRNA expression. Hemangioma endothelial cells (HemEC) were first isolated from surgically removed IH specimens in 1982 by Mulliken and colleagues (Mulliken et al., 1982). Hemangioma stem cells (HemSC) were isolated in 2008, hemangioma pericytes in 2013 and GLUT1-positive HemEC in 2015. Indeed, as we describe here, it is possible to isolate HemSC, GLUT1-positive HemEC, GLUT1-negative HemEC and HemPericytes from a single proliferating IH tissue specimen. This is accomplished by sequential selection using antibodies against specific cell surface markers: anti-CD133 to select HemSC, anti-GLUT1 and anti-CD31 to select HemECs and anti-PDGFRβ to select HemPericytes. IH-derived cells proliferate well in culture and can be used for in vitro and in vivo vasculogenesis and angiogenesis assays.
0 Q&A 3484 Views Nov 5, 2019
CD49b is a member of the integrin family, expressed on basophils, natural killer (NK) cells and a subset CD4+ T cells in the spleen. This protocol describes the adoptive transfer of basophil-enriched CD49b+ cells obtained from mouse spleens by magnetic enrichment. This protocol can be used to assess the contribution of basophils or basophil-derived mediators to a certain immune response.
0 Q&A 5006 Views Sep 5, 2019
Neutrophils are critical immune cells that protect our body against invading pathogens. They generate antibacterial DNA structures called neutrophil extracellular traps (NET). Recently we identified a new mechanism that enables NET formation. We observed that following recognition of lipopolysaccharides, inflammatory caspases cleave Gasdermin D and enable NET generation (Chen et al., 2018). This protocol describes how we purify neutrophil nuclei to visualize NET formation by live microscopy. After neutrophil purification from murine bone marrow, neutrophils are lysed in a hypotonic buffer using a nitrogen cavitation device to prevent lysis of neutrophil granules and subsequent contamination by granules proteases. Lysed neutrophils are then centrifuged, and nuclei are counted. The protocol described here is straightforward and enables the study of early changes happening in the nuclei of neutrophils undergoing NETosis with limited contamination by granule proteases.
0 Q&A 5099 Views Aug 5, 2018
Lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1, or LYVE-1, is a type 1 integral membrane glycoprotein expressed by lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). LYVE-1 is commonly used as a biological marker to visually distinguish developing lymphatic vessels from blood endothelial cells (arteries or veins). As our understanding of lymphatic biology is still lacking today, the need to isolate LECs apart from other endothelial cells has taken on greater importance. The following procedure describes a magnetic bead separation procedure for isolating LEC-rich populations of cells from developing mouse embryos.

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