Macrophages represent the most heterogeneous and abundant immune cell populations in the heart and are central in driving inflammation and reparative responses after cardiac injury. How various subsets of macrophages orchestrate the immune responses after cardiac injury is an active area of research. Presented here is a simple protocol that our lab performs routinely, for the extraction of macrophages from mouse and human myocardium specimens obtained from healthy and diseased individuals. Briefly, this protocol involves enzymatic digestion of cardiac tissue to generate a single cell suspension, followed by antibody staining, and flow cytometry. This technique is suitable for functional assays performed on sorted cells as well as bulk and single cell RNA sequencing. A major advantage of this protocol is its simplicity, minimal day to day variation and wide applicability allowing investigation of macrophage heterogeneity across various mouse models and human disease entities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60015
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number154
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Flow cytometry
  • Heart failure
  • Human heart
  • Immunology and Infection
  • Issue 154
  • Macrophages
  • Mouse heart
  • Stromal cells


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