Bone Marrow Macrophages

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Current revision



Preparation of bone marraow macrophages from mice.



Day 0

  1. Dissect out mouse femurs and tibias (total of four bones per mouse).
  2. Flush the bone marrow from each bone with 5-10 cc of BM20 using a syringe and a 26G needle. Combine the bone marrow from a single mouse into a 50-mL conical tube. Vortex briefly, and bring total volume to 50mL.
  3. Plate cells into non-TC treated 10-cm petri dishes (Fisherbrand Cat #08-757-12), 10mL per Petri dish, 5 Petri dishes/mouse
  4. Incubate at 37°C/5% CO2.

Day 4

  1. Add 8-10 mL BM20/ petri dish. Be careful not to slosh the cells at this stage since 20mL BM20 per Petri dish will be quite full.

Day 7

  1. Remove media, add 5 mL cold 0.02% EDTA in PBS (Sigma E8008). Incubate at 4°C for 10 min, then use a cell scraper to remove the cells from the plastic.
  2. Transfer cells to a 50-mL conical, spin (1k rpm, 10 min), and resuspend in BM10 for counting.
  3. Plate the cells in BM10 (generally 1.5 x 105 cells/ well in a 24 well-plate). Allow cells to rest for 3 days.


  1. Cells are now considered “rested” and ready for use.


  • Primary macrophages don’t come off TC-treated plastic.

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Relevant papers and books

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