5-(and 6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate, succinimidyl ester (5,6 CFDA,SE; CFSE), is a fluorogenic reagent which is frequently used in cell labeling and cell proliferation procedures. Non-fluorescent and moderately hydrophobic in its di-esterified form, 5,6 CFDA,SE easily penetrates lipid bi-layers of living cells and is quickly converted to the amine-reactive, green fluorescent form (CFSE) upon cleavage of the acetate groups by intracellular esterases. This highly fluorescent form is membrane-impermeant and is retained on and within the cells, while any excess CFSE probe is easily washed away in subsequent wash steps.
- Reconstitute the vial of CFSE with 200 µL DMSO to create a 2500X stock concentrate at 0.25 mg/mL. Mix by swirling or tilting the vial, allowing the DMSO to travel around the base of the amber vial until completely dissolved. At room temperature, the reagent should be dissolved within a few minutes. 2. If storing the stock concentrate for future use, prepare small aliquots (20 µL) to avoid freeze-thaw cycles. The stock concentrate will be stable for 6 months when protected from light and stored at or below -20°C.
- Create the 10X working solution by diluting the 2500X stock solution 1:250 in sterile PBS; e.g., add 4 µL stock to 996 µL PBS. Store the working solution on ice up to 2 hours protected from light. Do not use media to dilute the CFSE as it will quench the fluorescent signal.
- Prepare cells at 1-2 x 107 in 1.8 mL sterile PBS.
- Create 1 control tube of unstained cells at 1-2 x 107 in 2 mL sterile PBS. These cells will be used to compensate the flow cytometer to ensure that stained cells shift along the FL1 axis.
- Stain cells at a final concentration of 0.1 µg/mL (0.18 µM) of CFSE in the cell culture. Add the 10X working solution to the cells at a dilution of 1:10. For example, add 200 µL 10X CFSE working solution into 1.8 mL cell suspension. Mix by inverting or vortexing the vial. The optimal concentration of CVSE may vary among cell types. The concentration of CFSE and the incubation time should be adjusted for cell line to adequately stain them. Excessive staining may cause problems when compensating the instrument. Do not add CFSE to the control tube.
- Incubate 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Add 1 mL cell culture media to stop the reaction.
- Incubate 5 minutes.
- Wash the cells once or twice by centrifugation and discard the supernatant.
- Resuspend in cell culture media such that each tube contains the desired level of target cells, or resuspend in PBS and fix cells with formaldehyde.
- Analyze cells, or incubate at 37°C up to 1 hour until ready for additional staining or further experimentation.
- Analyze with a flow cytometer equipped with a 15 mW 488 nm argon laser: excitation at 492 nm; emission at 520-540 nm in FL
- Stained cells appear green.
Mitrović, A;Senjor, E;Jukić, M;Bolčina, L;Prunk, M;Proj, M;Nanut, M;Gobec, S;Kos, J. New inhibitors of cathepsin V impair tumor cell proliferation and elastin degradation and increase immune cell cytotoxicity. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. 2022 August 28; doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2022.08.046. Text