• Authors: Herb M. et al.
  • Year: 2020
  • Journal: J Vis Exp
  • Applications: in vitro / mRNA / jetMESSENGER
  • Cell types:
    1. Name: Mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages
      Description: Primary mouse bone marrow macrophages
      Known as: BMDM
    2. Name: Mouse peritoneal macrophages
      Description: Mouse primary peritoneal macrophage


Protocol for Mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) and Mouse peritoneal macrophages (PM) transfection with mRNA. Transfection rate: BMDM : 50-65%; PM : 85%


Macrophages are phagocytic cells specialized in detecting molecules of non-self origin. To this end, they are equipped with a large array of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Unfortunately, this also makes macrophages particularly challenging to transfect as the transfection reagent and the transfected nucleic acids are often recognized by the PRRs as non-self. Therefore, transfection often results in macrophage activation and degradation of the transfected nucleic acids or even in suicide of the macrophages. Here, we describe a protocol that allows highly efficient transfection of murine primary macrophages such as peritoneal macrophages (PM) and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) with mRNA in vitro transcribed from DNA templates such as plasmids. With this simple protocol, transfection rates of about 50-65% for PM and about 85% for BMDM are achieved without cytotoxicity or immunogenicity observed. We describe in detail the generation of mRNA for transfection from DNA constructs such as plasmids and the transfection procedure.