Laser microdissection (LM) offers a relatively rapid and precise method of isolating and removing specified cells from complex tissues for subsequent analysis of their RNA, DNA, protein or metabolite content, thereby allowing assessment of the role of different cell types in the normal physiological or disease processes being studied. In this unit, protocols for the preparation of mammalian frozen tissues, fixed tissues, and cytologic specimens for LM, including tissue freezing, tissue processing and paraffin embedding, histologic sectioning, cell processing, hematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemistry, and image-guided cell targeting are presented. Also provided are recipes for generating lysis buffers for the recovery of nucleic acids and proteins. The Commentary section addresses the types of specimens that can be utilized for LM and approaches to staining of specimens for cell visualization. Emphasis is placed on the preparation of tissue or cytologic specimens as this is critical to effective LM.