Tumor endothelial cells (TECs), which constitute the lining of the tumor blood vessels, have various characteristics as tumor constituent cells. In this study, we describe a novel method for the isolation of highly pure, fresh TECs, which form a small population within the tumor. Tumors were first dissected from tumor-bearing mice and digested to a single cell suspension with Collagenase Type II; the single cells were then separated by density gradient centrifugation. TECs were enriched by CD31-positive selection using magnetic activated cell sorting and subsequently purified by fluorescence activated cell sorting. The high purity of the obtained cells was verified by flow cytometry. Upon cell culture, the isolated cells showed a polygonal shape and a cobblestone appearance, which are features of the endothelial cells. Furthermore, a functional assay revealed that the TECs suppressed the proliferation of CD8+ T cells in vitro. We believe that the isolation method described in this study will enable the further elucidation of the characteristics of TECs.
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