A simplified, Langendorff-free method for concomitant isolation of viable cardiac myocytes and nonmyocytes from the adult mouse heart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • M Ackers-Johnson
  • Peter Yiqing Li
  • Sian-Marie O'Brien
  • Roger Foo

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • National University of Singapore


Rationale: Cardiovascular disease represents a global pandemic. The advent of and recent advances in mouse genomics, epigenomics and transgenics offer ever greater potential for powerful avenues of research. However, progress is often constrained by unique complexities associated with the isolation of viable myocytes from the adult mouse heart. Current protocols rely on retrograde aortic perfusion using specialised Langendorff apparatus, which poses considerable logistical and technical barriers to researchers, and demands extensive training investment.

Objective: To identify and optimise a convenient, alternative approach, allowing the robust isolation and culture of adult mouse cardiac myocytes using only common surgical and laboratory equipment.

Methods and Results: Cardiac myocytes were isolated with yields comparable to those in published Langendorff-based methods, using direct needle perfusion of the LV ex vivo and without requirement for heparin injection. Isolated myocytes can be cultured antibiotic-free, with retained organised contractile and mitochondrial morphology, transcriptional signatures, calcium handling, responses to hypoxia, neurohormonal stimulation and electrical pacing, and are amenable to patch clamp and adenoviral gene transfer techniques. Furthermore, the methodology permits concurrent isolation, separation and co-culture of myocyte and non-myocyte cardiac populations.

Conclusions: We present a novel, simplified method, demonstrating concomitant isolation of viable cardiac myocytes and non-myocytes from the same adult mouse heart. We anticipate that this new approach will expand and accelerate innovative research in the field of cardiac biology.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-920
Number of pages12
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number8
Early online date8 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2016


  • Langendorff, cell isolation, cardiac myocyte, cell culture, fibroblasts