UNIT 3.22 Isolation of Murine Natural Killer Cells

  1. Amy Reichlin,
  2. Koho Iizuka,
  3. Wayne M. Yokoyama

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0101s35

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Reichlin, A., Iizuka, K. and Yokoyama, W. M. 2001. Isolation of Murine Natural Killer Cells. Current Protocols in Immunology. 35:IV:3.22:3.22.1–3.22.6.

Author Information

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: FEB 2000

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (2 APR 2014)


This unit describes the isolation of natural killer (NK) cells from mouse spleen. The basic protocol describes a method for preparing a highly purified NK cell population from mouse spleen by cytotoxic depletion of contaminating cells with selected monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), complement lysis, and density-gradient centrifugation to eliminate dead cells. The advantage of this negative selection process is that the NK cells are not coated with antibody and, therefore, are not at risk of activation by antibody cross-linking. Purity can then be assessed by cell surface phenotype.