Improved serum-free culture conditions for spleen-derived murine fibrocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Both wound repair and fibrosing diseases involve circulating monocytes entering a tissue and differentiating into fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes. Fibrocyte biology has been extensively studied in both humans and mice. However, current in vitro techniques to culture murine fibrocytes can take up to two weeks and can require multiple mice to obtain enough circulating monocytes for a single experiment. An alternative source of fibrocytes is the splenic reservoir of monocytes, where one can obtain significantly more cells compared to the peripheral blood. We found that in serum-free medium, fibrocytes differentiate from murine spleen cells within 5 days. To maximize fibrocyte yield, we found the optimal purification technique was to digest the spleen with a collagenase/DNase cocktail, pass the cells through a cell strainer, and lyse the red blood cells. We found that IL-13 and M-CSF significantly enhanced fibrocyte differentiation and that the optimal cell density to promote differentiation was 1.7510 cells/ml. Serum amyloid P (SAP) and cross-linked IgG are two factors known to inhibit the differentiation of human monocytes into fibrocytes. We found that SAP and cross-linked IgG also inhibited the differentiation of murine spleen cells into fibrocytes. These results suggest that culturing murine spleen cells in serum-free medium is a rapid and efficient system to study factors that can affect fibrocyte differentiation.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol Methods

author list (cited authors)

  • Crawford, J. R., Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Crawford, Jeffrey R||Pilling, Darrell||Gomer, Richard H

publication date

  • December 2010