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An artery-specific fluorescent dye for studying neurovascular coupling.
ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that Alexa Fluor 633 hydrazide (Alexa Fluor 633) selectively labels neocortical arteries and arterioles by binding to elastin fibers. We measured sensory stimulus-evoked arteriole dilation dynamics in mouse, rat and cat visual cortex using Alexa Fluor 633 together with neuronal activity using calcium indicators or blood flow using fluorescein dextran. Arteriole dilation decreased fluorescence recorded from immediately underlying neurons, representing a potential artifact during neuronal functional imaging experiments.
Project description:Functional hyperemia is the regional increase in cerebral blood flow upon increases in neuronal activity which ensures that the metabolic demands of the neurons are met. Hypertension is known to impair the hyperemic response; however, the neurovascular coupling mechanisms by which this cerebrovascular dysfunction occurs have yet to be fully elucidated. To determine whether altered cortical parenchymal arteriole function or astrocyte signaling contribute to blunted neurovascular coupling in hypertension, we measured parenchymal arteriole reactivity and vascular smooth muscle cell Ca(2+) dynamics in cortical brain slices from normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) rats. We found that vasoconstriction in response to the thromboxane A2 receptor agonist U46619 and basal vascular smooth muscle cell Ca(2+) oscillation frequency were significantly increased in parenchymal arterioles from SHR. In perfused and pressurized parenchymal arterioles, myogenic tone was significantly increased in SHR. Although K(+)-induced parenchymal arteriole dilations were similar in WKY and SHR, metabotropic glutamate receptor activation-induced parenchymal arteriole dilations were enhanced in SHR. Further, neuronal stimulation-evoked parenchymal arteriole dilations were similar in SHR and WKY. Our data indicate that neurovascular coupling is not impaired in SHR, at least at the level of the parenchymal arterioles.
Project description:Active neurons increase their energy supply by dilating nearby arterioles and capillaries. This neurovascular coupling underlies blood oxygen level-dependent functional imaging signals, but its mechanism is controversial. Canonically, neurons release glutamate to activate metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) on astrocytes, evoking Ca2+ release from internal stores, activating phospholipase A2 and generating vasodilatory arachidonic acid derivatives. However, adult astrocytes lack mGluR5, and knockout of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors that release Ca2+ from stores does not affect neurovascular coupling. We now show that buffering astrocyte Ca2+ inhibits neuronally evoked capillary dilation, that astrocyte [Ca2+]i is raised not by release from stores but by entry through ATP-gated channels, and that Ca2+ generates arachidonic acid via phospholipase D2 and diacylglycerol lipase rather than phospholipase A2. In contrast, dilation of arterioles depends on NMDA receptor activation and Ca2+-dependent NO generation by interneurons. These results reveal that different signaling cascades regulate cerebral blood flow at the capillary and arteriole levels.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The brain is critically dependent on the regulation of blood flow to nourish active neurons. One widely held hypothesis of blood flow regulation holds that active neurons stimulate Ca(2+) increases in glial cells, triggering glial release of vasodilating agents. This hypothesis has been challenged, as arteriole dilation can occur in the absence of glial Ca(2+) signaling. We address this controversy by imaging glial Ca(2+) signaling and vessel dilation in the mouse retina. We find that sensory stimulation results in Ca(2+) increases in the glial endfeet contacting capillaries, but not arterioles, and that capillary dilations often follow spontaneous Ca(2+) signaling. In IP3R2(-/-) mice, where glial Ca(2+) signaling is reduced, light-evoked capillary, but not arteriole, dilation is abolished. The results show that, independent of arterioles, capillaries actively dilate and regulate blood flow. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that glial Ca(2+) signaling regulates capillary but not arteriole blood flow. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:We show that a Ca(2+)-dependent glial cell signaling mechanism is responsible for regulating capillary but not arteriole diameter. This finding resolves a long-standing controversy regarding the role of glial cells in regulating blood flow, demonstrating that glial Ca(2+) signaling is both necessary and sufficient to dilate capillaries. While the relative contributions of capillaries and arterioles to blood flow regulation remain unclear, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate capillary blood flow may ultimately lead to the development of therapies for treating diseases where blood flow regulation is disrupted, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy. This finding may also aid in revealing the underlying neuronal activity that generates BOLD fMRI signals.
Project description:Despite the role that extracellular matrix (ECM) plays in vascular signaling, little is known of the complex structural arrangement between specific ECM proteins and vascular smooth muscle cells. Our objective was to examine the hypothesis that adventitial elastin fibers are dominant in vessels subject to longitudinal stretch.Cremaster muscle arterioles were isolated, allowed to develop spontaneous tone, and compared with small cerebral arteries. 3D confocal microscopy was used to visualize ECM within the vessel wall. Pressurized arterioles were fixed and stained with Alexa 633 hydrazide (as a nonselective ECM marker), anti-elastin, or anti-type 1 collagen antibody and a fluorescent nuclear stain. Exposure of cremaster muscle arterioles to elastase for 5 minutes caused an irreversible lengthening of the vessel segment that was not observed in cerebral arteries. Longitudinal elastin fibers were demonstrated on cremaster muscle arterioles using 3D imaging but were confirmed to be absent in cerebral vessels. The fibers were also distinct from type I collagen fibers and were degraded by elastase treatment.These results indicate the importance of elastin in bearing longitudinal stress in the arteriolar wall and that these fibers constrain vascular smooth muscle cells. Differences between skeletal muscle and cerebral small arteries may reflect differences in the local mechanical environment, such as exposure to longitudinal stretch.
Project description:Neural activity in the brain is followed by localized changes in blood flow and volume. We address the relative change in volume for arteriole vs. venous blood within primary vibrissa cortex of awake, head-fixed mice. Two-photon laser-scanning microscopy was used to measure spontaneous and sensory evoked changes in flow and volume at the level of single vessels. We find that arterioles exhibit slow (<1 Hz) spontaneous increases in their diameter, as well as pronounced dilation in response to both punctate and prolonged stimulation of the contralateral vibrissae. In contrast, venules dilate only in response to prolonged stimulation. We conclude that stimulation that occurs on the time scale of natural stimuli leads to a net increase in the reservoir of arteriole blood. Thus, a "bagpipe" model that highlights arteriole dilation should augment the current "balloon" model of venous distension in the interpretation of fMRI images.
Project description:Functional hyperemia of the cerebral vascular system matches regional blood flow to the metabolic demands of the brain. One current model of neurovascular control holds that glutamate released by neurons activates group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) on astrocytes, resulting in the production of diffusible messengers that act to regulate smooth muscle cells surrounding cerebral arterioles. The acute mouse brain slice is an experimental system in which changes in arteriole diameter can precisely measured with light microscopy. Stimulation of the brain slice triggers specific cellular responses that can be correlated to changes in arteriole diameter. Here we used inositol trisphosphate receptor type 2 (IP(3)R2) and cytosolic phospholipase A(2) alpha (cPLA(2)?) deficient mice to determine if astrocyte mGluR activation coupled to IP(3)R2-mediated Ca(2+) release and subsequent cPLA(2)? activation is required for arteriole regulation. We measured changes in astrocyte cytosolic free Ca(2+) and arteriole diameters in response to mGluR agonist or electrical field stimulation in acute neocortical mouse brain slices maintained in 95% or 20% O(2). Astrocyte Ca(2+) and arteriole responses to mGluR activation were absent in IP(3)R2(-/-) slices. Astrocyte Ca(2+) responses to mGluR activation were unchanged by deletion of cPLA(2)? but arteriole responses to either mGluR agonist or electrical stimulation were ablated. The valence of changes in arteriole diameter (dilation/constriction) was dependent upon both stimulus and O(2) concentration. Neuron-derived NO and activation of the group I mGluRs are required for responses to electrical stimulation. These findings indicate that an mGluR/IP(3)R2/cPLA(2)? signaling cascade in astrocytes is required to transduce neuronal glutamate release into arteriole responses.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is formed by the endothelial cells lining cerebral microvessels, but how blood-borne signaling molecules influence permeability is incompletely understood. We here examined how the apolipoprotein M (apoM)-bound sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway affects the BBB in different categories of cerebral microvessels using ApoM deficient mice (Apom-/-). We used two-photon microscopy to monitor BBB permeability of sodium fluorescein (376 Da), Alexa Fluor (643 Da), and fluorescent albumin (45 kDA). We show that BBB permeability to small molecules increases in Apom-/- mice. Vesicle-mediated transfer of albumin in arterioles increased 3 to 10-fold in Apom-/- mice, whereas transcytosis in capillaries and venules remained unchanged. The S1P receptor 1 agonist SEW2871 rapidly normalized paracellular BBB permeability in Apom-/- mice, and inhibited transcytosis in penetrating arterioles, but not in pial arterioles. Thus, apoM-bound S1P maintains low paracellular BBB permeability in all cerebral microvessels and low levels of vesicle-mediated transport in penetrating arterioles.
Project description:Rapidly treating infections with adequate antibiotics is of major importance. This requires a fast and accurate determination of the antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial pathogens. The most frequently used methods are slow because they are based on the measurement of growth inhibition. Faster methods, such as PCR-based detection of determinants of antibiotic resistance, do not always provide relevant information on susceptibility, particularly that which is not genetically based. Consequently, new methods, such as the detection of changes in bacterial physiology caused by antibiotics using flow cytometry and fluorescent viability markers, are being explored. In this study, we assessed whether Alexa Fluor® 633 Hydrazide (AFH), which targets carbonyl groups, can be used for antibiotic susceptibility testing. Carbonylation of cellular macromolecules, which increases in antibiotic-treated cells, is a particularly appropriate to assess for this purpose because it is irreversible. We tested the susceptibility of clinical isolates of Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to antibiotics from the three classes: ?-lactams, aminoglycosides, and fluoroquinolones. In addition to AFH, we used TO-PRO®-3, which enters cells with damaged membranes and binds to DNA, and DiBAC4 (3), which enters cells with depolarized membranes. We also monitored antibiotic-induced morphological alterations of bacterial cells by analyzing light scattering signals. Although all tested dyes and light scattering signals allowed for the detection of antibiotic-sensitive cells, AFH proved to be the most suitable for the fast and reliable detection of antibiotic susceptibility.
Project description:Antibodies against cell surface antigens may be internalized through their specific interactions with these proteins and in some cases may induce or perturb antigen internalization. The anti-cancer efficacy of antibody-drug conjugates is thought to rely on their uptake by cancer cells expressing the surface antigen. Numerous techniques, including microscopy and flow cytometry, have been used to identify antibodies with desired cellular uptake rates. To enable quantitative measurements of internalization of labeled antibodies, an assay based on internalized and quenched fluorescence was developed. For this approach, we generated novel anti-Alexa Fluor monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that effectively and specifically quench cell surface-bound Alexa Fluor 488 or Alexa Fluor 594 fluorescence. Utilizing Alexa Fluor-labeled mAbs against the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase, we showed that the anti-Alexa Fluor reagents could be used to monitor internalization quantitatively over time. The anti-Alexa Fluor mAbs were also validated in a proof of concept dual-label internalization assay with simultaneous exposure of cells to two different mAbs. Importantly, the unique anti-Alexa Fluor mAbs described here may also enable other single- and dual-label experiments, including label detection and signal enhancement in macromolecules, trafficking of proteins and microorganisms, and cell migration and morphology.
Project description:mRNA profiling of mouse kidney preglomerular arterioles comparing wild type arterioles vs.arterioles from mice having deletion of RBP-J in cells of the renin lineage We used microarrays to detail the global program of gene expression in wild type and RBP-J conditional knockout (RPB-J cKO) kidney arterioles which revealed upregulation of genes that belong to the immune response system. Overall design: Two condition experiment: wild type vs RBP-J cKO. Replicates: wild type - pool of arteriole prparations from 3 animals and cKO - pool of arteriole preparations from 4 animals . One replicate per array.