Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are specialized endothelial cells located at the interface between the circulation and the liver parenchyma. LSECs have a distinct morphology characterized by the presence of fenestrae and the absence of basement membrane. LSECs play essential roles in many pathological disorders in the liver, including metabolic dysregulation, inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, and carcinogenesis. However, little has been published about the isolation and characterization of the LSECs. Here, this protocol discusses the isolation of LSEC from both healthy and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) mice. The protocol is based on collagenase perfusion of the mouse liver and magnetic beads positive selection of nonparenchymal cells to purify LSECs. This study characterizes LSECs using specific markers by flow cytometry and identifies the characteristic phenotypic features by scanning electron microscopy. LSECs isolated following this protocol can be used for functional studies, including adhesion and permeability assays, as well as downstream studies for a particular pathway of interest. In addition, these LSECs can be pooled or used individually, allowing multi-omics data generation including RNA-seq bulk or single cell, proteomic or phospho-proteomics, and Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq), among others. This protocol will be useful for investigators studying LSECs' communication with other liver cells in health and disease and allow an in-depth understanding of the role of LSECs in the pathogenic mechanisms of acute and chronic liver injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience
- General Chemical Engineering
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology