Mouse Fetal Germ Cell Isolation and Culture Techniques

  • Cassy M. Spiller
  • Guillaume Burnet
  • Josephine BowlesEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1463)


The fetal gonad contains a great variety of differentiating cell populations, of which germ cells make up a small percentage. In order to study germ cell-specific gene and protein expression, as well as determine direct effects of signaling molecules, it is necessary to prepare enriched populations of germ cells and maintain them in culture for several hours to multiple days. The protocols in this chapter are designed to provide a guide for the isolation or enrichment of mouse primordial germ cells (from 9.5 days postcoitum (dpc) to 18.5 dpc) by flow cytometry (Subheading 3.1) or magnetic sorting (Subheading 3.2), followed by primary germ cell culture (Subheading 3.3).

Key words

Germ cells FACS Magnetic sorting MACS Serum-free 



This work was supported by the Australian Research Council [DP140104059] and Cancer Council Queensland [APP1012325]. C.S. is a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellow.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassy M. Spiller
    • 1
  • Guillaume Burnet
    • 1
  • Josephine Bowles
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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