Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells: Isolation, Freezing, Thawing, and Culture

  • Christine Riedhammer
  • Dagmar Halbritter
  • Robert WeissertEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1304)


The work with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), which comprise lymphocytes and monocytes, is indispensable in immunological diagnostics and research. The isolation of PBMCs takes advantage of differences in cell density of the different blood components. Density gradient centrifugation of diluted whole blood layered over a density gradient medium yields PBMCs; two subsequent washing steps remove remaining platelets. To store the cells for future assays, they can be frozen and thawed when required. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) serves as a cryoprotectant for freezing PBMCs, but must be removed by washing after thawing, as it can become toxic to the cells on longer exposure.


PBMC Density gradient Freezing Thawing Cryopreservation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Riedhammer
    • 1
  • Dagmar Halbritter
    • 1
  • Robert Weissert
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Clinical NeurobiologyUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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