Mouse bone marrow cells are a multipurpose resource for conversion to several other useful cell types. Mouse bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells, which makes it an excellent starting point for deriving cells of various hematopoietic lineages.


Converting Mouse Bone Marrow to Other Cells: 3 Examples

1) Bone Marrow to Macrophages

When cultured in M-CSF, bone marrow cells will give rise to macrophages. The cultures initially look like nothing is alive, but small colonies of adherent cells will begin to grow in 3–4 days. You must replenish the medium after 4 or 5 days, but the cells will continue to grow as long as you include M-CSF in the medium.


2) Bone Marrow to Mast Cells

Mast cells can also be cultured from bone marrow. Stem cell factor (SCF) is required for this conversion, and the addition of IL-3 may increase the number of cells that grow out. As with the macrophage conversion, you must replenish the medium every 3–4 days.

It is also helpful to transfer the cells to a new flask every 3–4 days because some macrophages will grow, but will be attached to the plastic. The mast cells will grow in suspension and can be transferred to separate them from the macrophages. After two weeks of culture, the mast cells will all stain positive for markers that define the mast cell type, FcεR and c-kit.


3) Bone Marrow to Dendritic Cells

We use bone marrow cells to culture murine dendritic cells by culturing the cells with GM-CSF. Under some conditions, this will result in a mixed culture of granulocytes and dendritic cells. You can avoid this by screening for batches of fetal calf serum that will only support the growth of dendritic cells.

These are just three of the cell types that can easily be cultured from mouse bone marrow. You can also derive other cell types from mouse bone marrow with different combinations of colony stimulating factors.


Getting Started

For more details on converting mouse bone marrow to other cells, see our protocol.

You can use our mouse bone marrow cells in your own experiments, or ask us about our outsourced research services to learn how we can deliver fast results — all cells, equipment and labor included. See all of our available mouse cells and other animal cell products here.

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