Colony-Forming Unit Assays with Mouse Cells

STEMCELL Technologies offers a variety of MethoCult semi-solid media products to be used with mouse cells for CFU assays. Mouse cells require very specific media in order to grow specific colony types. The cytokines in these media formulations determine which colony types can grow in each, and thus the media formulation you choose is extremely important.

In general, we recommend using the following MethoCult formulations for your studies:

Desired Colony Type Optimal MethoCult Formulation Day to Count
CFU-GEMM (mixed) GF M3434 12
For only CFU-GM GF M3534 12
BFU-E SF M3436 10 and 14
CFU-E M3334 2
CFU pre-B M3630 7

Additional tips for mouse colony-forming unit assays:

  • Plate multiple cell concentrations - you want to see 75-150 colonies per dish.
  • You may want to plate multiple cell sources (i.e. your progenitors may be found in the spleen or bone marrow, depending on the mouse)
  • Count the colonies on the recommended day for the colony type.
  • Morphology of colonies may vary depending on a number of factors including the mouse strain and age.

We have additional information and tips on colony identification available on our new Mouse Hematopoietic Progenitors Wallchart.

Remember, focus on using the correct cell source, media formulation and counting on the correct day and colony identification can be simplified!

For further assistance and information, please contact

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