Generation of primary astrocyte cultures devoid of contaminating microglia

Tracy F. Uliasz, Mary E. Hamby, Nicole A. Jackman, James Hewett, Sandra Hewett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Microglia, resident phagocytic cells of the central nervous system, are frequent contaminants of astrocyte cultures. Unfortunately and not always fully appreciated, contamination by microglia can confound results of studies designed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying astrocyte-specific responses. The paradigm described herein employs the mitotic inhibitor, cytosine β-d-arabinofuranoside, followed by the lysosomotropic agent, leucine methylester, to maximally deplete microglia, thereby generating highly enriched astrocyte monolayers that remain viable and functional. Successful removal of microglia from confluent monolayers of primary astrocyte cultures is achieved without the need for cell passage and successful reduction is confirmed by depletion of microglial-specific markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745



  • Astrocytes
  • Cell culture
  • Lysosomotropism
  • Microglia
  • Mitotic inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Uliasz, T. F., Hamby, M. E., Jackman, N. A., Hewett, J., & Hewett, S. (2012). Generation of primary astrocyte cultures devoid of contaminating microglia. In Methods in Molecular Biology (Vol. 814, pp. 61-79). (Methods in Molecular Biology; Vol. 814).