Isolation of Microglia and Immune Infiltrates from Mouse and Primate Central Nervous System

Thais F. Galatro, Ilia D. Vainchtein, Nieske Brouwer, Erik W. G. M. Boddeke, Bart J. L. Eggen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Microglia are the innate immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and play an important role in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, providing neural support and neuroprotection. Microglia constantly survey their environment and quickly respond to homeostatic perturbations. Microglia are increasingly implicated in neuropathological and neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and glioma progression. Here, we describe a detailed isolation protocol for microglia and immune infiltrates, optimized for large amounts of post mortem tissue from human and rhesus macaque, as well as smaller tissue amounts from mouse brain and spinal cord, that yield a highly purified microglia population (up to 98 % purity). This acute isolation protocol is based on mechanical dissociation and a two-step density gradient purification, followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to obtain pure microglia and immune infiltrate populations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInflammation. Methods and Protocols
EditorsBjörn E. Clausen, Jon D. Laman
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4939-6786-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4939-6784-1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2017

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Acute isolation
  • CNS
  • Ex vivo
  • FACS
  • Glioma
  • Microglia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroinflammation

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