A rapid method for isolating murine intestine intraepithelial lymphocytes with high yield and purity

R. Lee Mosley, John R. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Because murine intestine intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) are dispersed throughout the intestine epithelium, it is important that IEL extraction procedures result in lymphocyte preparations of sufficient purity for use in in vitro and in vivo experimental systems. Here, we describe an improved technique for isolating murine IEL consisting of a single 30 min extraction followed by multiple nylon wool filtrations and centrifugation through Percoll. This procedure yields a preparation of IEL with high overall recovery and purity yet takes only 2-2.5 h. Evaluation of individual steps in the extraction process indicated that nylon wool filtration, in particular multiple filtrations, and Percoll fractionation both were important for achieving highly-enriched IEL populations by removal of enterocytes and cellular debris, and demonstrated that multiple nylon wool filtration improved the overall IEL recovery. This procedure has several advantages for studies of murine IEL in that the resultant IEL population is ideal for phenotypic, functional, or molecular analyses. Moreover, this technique is effective for isolating IEL on a single-animal basis, thereby permitting analyses of IEL from individual mice rather than as pooled IEL obtained from several animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 25 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow cytometry
  • Intestine T cell
  • Intraepithelial lymphocyte
  • T cell receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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