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Proceedings Paper

In vivo quantification of microglia dynamics with a scanning laser ophthalmoscope in a mouse model of focal laser injury
Author(s): Clemens Alt; Charles P. Lin
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Paper Abstract

Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system and play a crucial role in maintaining neuronal health and function. Their dynamic behavior, that is, the constant extension and retraction of microglia processes, is thought to be critical for communication between microglia and their cellular neighbors, such as neurons, astrocytes and vascular endothelial cells. Here, we investigated the morphology and dynamics of retinal microglia in vivo under normal conditions and in response to focal laser injury of blood vessel endothelial wall, using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) designed specifically for imaging the retina of live mice. The multichannel confocal imaging system allows retinal microstructure, such as the processes of microglia and retinal vasculature, to be visualized simultaneously. In order to generate focal laser injury, a photocoagulator based on a continuous wave (cw) laser was coupled into the SLO. An acousto-optic modulator chopped pulses from the cw laser. A tip-tilt-scanner was used to direct the laser beam into a blood vessel of interest under SLO image guidance. Mild coagulation was produced using millisecond-long pulses. Microglia react dynamically to focal laser injury of blood vessel endothelial walls. Under normal conditions, microglia somas remain stationary and the processes probe a territory of their immediate environment. In response to local injury, process movement velocity approximately doubles within minutes after injury. Moreover, the previously unpolarized process movement assumes a distinct directionality towards the injury site, indicating signaling between the injured tissue and the microglia. In vivo retinal imaging is a powerful tool for understanding the dynamic behavior of retinal cells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 March 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8209, Ophthalmic Technologies XXII, 820907 (9 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.909141
Show Author Affiliations
Clemens Alt, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (United States)
Charles P. Lin, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8209:
Ophthalmic Technologies XXII
Fabrice Manns; Per G. Söderberg; Arthur Ho, Editor(s)

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