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Proceedings Paper

Local intracellular ion measurements with luminescent indicators using confocal laser scanning microscopy
Author(s): N. Opitz; E. Merten; H. Acker
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Paper Abstract

Ion sensitive fluoroprobes such as BCECF (pH) and FURA-II (Ca2+) are frequently used indicators for determination of ion activities in single cells and subcellular compartments, e.g. by video enhanced or video intensified microscopy. Moreover, using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) with its inherent potential for noninvasive optical sectioning of cells and tissues and subsequent 3D image reconstruction, intracellular ion topographies can be monitored via pseudocolor encoded ratio imaging from pixel to pixel enabling in vivo measurements of dynamic intracellular processes. Regardless of the degree of spatial resolution, reliable qualtitative determinations essentially depend on accurate calibration of the intracellularly entrapped fluoroprobe. Calibration is either established on the basis of a whole cell or within a more or less extended subcellular compartment and the characteristics are displayed as concentration encoded pseudocolor bar within the image frame. This calibration is assumed to be valid for other cellular compartments and, in case of ion imaging, it is even thought to be valid for every single pixel of the complete pixel field. However, the assumption of a topographically invariant intracellular calibration requires a reliable behavior of the intracellularly applied indicator. This intracellular integrity of the dyes often does not seem to exist since intracellular calibration curves considerably deviate from in vitro calibration characteristics. Deviations may be due to intracellular interactions of indicator molecules with cytoplasmic macromolecules, e.g. proteins, resulting in spectral distortions and/or sensitivity deficits as demonstrated by the indicators BCECF and FURA-RED (a FURA-II analogue) or to intracellular redistribution of the indicator as exemplified by pH measurements using carboxy-SNARF-1. Consequences of these investigations as well as further potential interferences are discussed with special respect to ion imaging techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2508, Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Fiber Sensors VII, (29 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221722
Show Author Affiliations
N. Opitz, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Molekulare Physiologie (Germany)
E. Merten, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Molekulare Physiologie (Germany)
H. Acker, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Molekulare Physiologie (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2508:
Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Fiber Sensors VII
Annamaria V. Scheggi, Editor(s)

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