Objectives: Microvascular dysfunction in skeletal muscle is involved in metabolic and vascular diseases. Microvascular endothelial cells (MEC) are poorly characterized in the progression of associated diseases in part due to lack of availability of MEC from various animal models. The objective was to provide a fast, simple, and efficient method to isolate murine MEC derived from skeletal muscle. Methods: Dissected abdominal skeletal muscles from C57BL/6J mice at 8 - 12 weeks of age were enzymatically dissociated. MEC were isolated using a modified two-step Dynabeads™-based purification method. With a combination of Dynabeads™ - Griffonia simplicifolia lectin-I and Dynabeads™ - monoclonal antibody against CD31/PECAM-1, MEC were isolated and purified twice followed by cultivation. Results: Isolated and purified cells were viable and cultured. MEC were characterized by using immunofluorescence to identify CD31/PECAM-1, an EC marker, and two specific functional assays, which include a capillary-like tube formation and the uptake of Dil-Ac-LDL. The purity of isolated cell populations from skeletal muscle microvessels, which was assessed by flow cytometry, was 88.02% ± 2.99% (n = 6). Conclusions: This method is simple, fast, and highly reproducible for isolating MEC from murine skeletal muscle. The method will enable us to obtain primary cultured MEC from various genetic or diseased murine models, contributing to insightful knowledge of diseases associated with the dysfunction of microvessels.


Biomedical Sciences

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© 2020 The authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


microvascular endothelial cells, isolation, primary cultured, skeletal muscle, mouse

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Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering