A Simple, Quick, and Partially Automated Protocol for the Isolation of Single Nuclei from Frozen Mammalian Tissues for Single Nucleus Sequencing

J Vis Exp. 2023 Jul 28:(197). doi: 10.3791/65611.


Single-cell and single-nucleus RNA sequencing have become common laboratory applications due to the wealth of transcriptomic information that they provide. Single nucleus RNA sequencing, particularly, is useful for investigating gene expression in difficult-to-dissociate tissues. Furthermore, this approach is also compatible with frozen (archival) material. Here, we describe a protocol to isolate high-quality single nuclei from frozen mammalian tissues for downstream single nucleus RNA sequencing in a partially-automated manner using commercially available instruments and reagents. Specifically, a robotic dissociator is used to automate and standardize tissue homogenization, followed by an optimized chemical gradient to filter the nuclei. Lastly, we accurately and automatically count the nuclei using an automated fluorescent cell counter. The performance of this protocol is demonstrated on mouse brain, rat kidney, and cynomolgus liver and spleen tissue. This protocol is straightforward, rapid, and readily adaptable to various mammalian tissues without requiring extensive optimization and provides good quality nuclei for downstream single nuclei RNA sequencing.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling* / methods
  • Indicators and Reagents / metabolism
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods
  • Transcriptome


  • Indicators and Reagents