Isolation and Characterization of Low- vs. High-Density Neutrophils in Cancer

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1458:179-93. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3801-8_13.


Neutrophils are the most abundant of all white blood cells in the human circulation and serve as the first line of defense against microbial infections. Traditionally, neutrophils were viewed as a homogeneous population of myeloid cells. However, in recent years accumulating evidence has suggested that neutrophils are heterogeneous and that distinct neutrophil subsets may play very different roles. Here, we describe the methodology for isolation of high- and low-density neutrophils from the murine and human circulation using a density gradient and antibody based enrichment. We further describe the methodology for functional characterization of these different neutrophil subsets in the context of cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Cytotoxicity; Density; Enrichment; Flow cytometry; Isolation; Neutrophils.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Separation
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / pathology*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phenotype
  • Respiratory Burst / immunology


  • Biomarkers