Imaging of mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial responses in cultured rat hippocampal neurons exposed to micromolar concentrations of TMRM.
ABSTRACT: Tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) is a fluorescent dye used to study mitochondrial function in living cells. Previously, we reported that TMRM effectively labeled mitochondria of neurons deep within mouse brain slices. Use of micromolar concentration of dye, which was required to get sufficient staining for two-photon imaging, resulted in typical fluctuations of TMRM. With prolonged exposure, we recorded additional responses in some neurons that included slow oscillations and propagating waves of fluorescence. (Note: We use the terms "fluctuation" to refer to a change in the fluorescent state of an individual mitochondrion, "oscillation" to refer to a localized change in fluorescence in the cytosol, and "wave" to refer to a change in cytosolic fluorescence that propagated within a cell. Use of these terms does not imply any underlying periodicity.) In this report we describe similar results using cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Prolonged exposure of cultures to 2.5 µM TMRM produced a spontaneous increase in fluorescence in some neurons, but not glial cells, after 45-60 minutes that was followed by slow oscillations, waves, and eventually apoptosis. Spontaneous increases in fluorescence were insensitive to high concentrations of FCCP (100 µM) and thapsigargin (10 µM) indicating that they originated, at least in part, from regions outside of mitochondria. The oscillations did not correlate with changes in intracellular Ca(2+), but did correlate with differences in fluorescence lifetime of the dye. Fluorescence lifetime and one-photon ratiometric imaging of TMRM suggested that the spontaneous increase and subsequent oscillations were due to movement of dye between quenched (hydrophobic) and unquenched (hydrophilic) compartments. We propose that these movements may be correlates of intracellular events involved in early stages of apoptosis.
Project description:The parafascicular nucleus (Pf) is an ascending target of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and is part of the "non-specific" intralaminar thalamus. The PPN, part of the reticular activating system, is mainly involved in waking and rapid eye movement sleep. Gamma oscillations are evident in all Pf neurons and mediated by high threshold voltage-dependent N- and P/Q-type calcium channels. We tested the hypothesis that high-speed calcium imaging would reveal calcium-mediated oscillations in synchrony with patch clamp recorded oscillations during depolarizing current ramps. Patch-clamped 9 to 19-day-old rat Pf neurons (n?=?148, dye filled n?=?61, control n?=?87) were filled with Fura 2, Bis Fura, or Oregon Green BAPTA-1. Calcium transients were generated during depolarizing current ramps and visualized with a high-speed, wide-field fluorescence imaging system. Cells manifested calcium transients with oscillations in both somatic and proximal dendrite fluorescence recordings. Fluorescent calcium transients were blocked with the nonspecific calcium channel blocker, cadmium, or the combination of ?-Agatoxin-IVA (AgA), a specific P/Q-type calcium channel blocker and ?-conotoxin-GVIA (CgTx), a specific N-type calcium channel blocker. We developed a viable methodology for studying high-speed oscillations without the use of multi-photon imaging systems.
Project description:While calcium imaging has become a mainstay of modern neuroscience, the spectral properties of current fluorescent calcium indicators limit deep-tissue imaging as well as simultaneous use with other probes. Using two monomeric near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent proteins (FPs), we engineered an NIR Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based genetically encoded calcium indicator (iGECI). iGECI exhibits high levels of brightness and photostability and an increase up to 600% in the fluorescence response to calcium. In dissociated neurons, iGECI detects spontaneous neuronal activity and electrically and optogenetically induced firing. We validated the performance of iGECI up to a depth of almost 400 µm in acute brain slices using one-photon light-sheet imaging. Applying hybrid photoacoustic and fluorescence microscopy, we simultaneously monitored neuronal and hemodynamic activities in the mouse brain through an intact skull, with resolutions of ~3 μm (lateral) and ~25-50 μm (axial). Using two-photon imaging, we detected evoked and spontaneous neuronal activity in the mouse visual cortex, with fluorescence changes of up to 25%. iGECI allows biosensors and optogenetic actuators to be multiplexed without spectral crosstalk.
Project description:Multiphoton microscopy has emerged as the primary imaging tool for studying the structural and functional dynamics of neural circuits in brain tissue, which is highly scattering to light. Recently, three-photon microscopy has enabled high-resolution fluorescence imaging of neurons in deeper brain areas that lie beyond the reach of conventional two-photon microscopy, which is typically limited to?~?450 µm. Three-photon imaging of neuronal calcium signals, through the genetically-encoded calcium indicator GCaMP6, has been used to successfully record neuronal activity in deeper neocortical layers and parts of the hippocampus in rodents. Bulk-loading cells in deeper cortical layers with synthetic calcium indicators could provide an alternative strategy for labelling that obviates dependence on viral tropism and promoter penetration, particularly in non-rodent species. Here we report a strategy for visualized injection of a calcium dye, Oregon Green BAPTA-1 AM (OGB-1 AM), at 500-600 µm below the surface of the mouse visual cortex in vivo. We demonstrate successful OGB-1 AM loading of cells in cortical layers 5-6 and subsequent three-photon imaging of orientation- and direction- selective visual responses from these cells.
Project description:Latrepirdine/Dimebon is a small-molecule compound with attributed neurocognitive-enhancing activities, which has recently been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Latrepirdine has been suggested to be a neuroprotective agent that increases mitochondrial function, however the molecular mechanisms underlying these activities have remained elusive. We here demonstrate that latrepirdine, at (sub)nanomolar concentrations (0.1 nM), activates the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Treatment of primary neurons with latrepirdine increased intracellular ATP levels and glucose transporter 3 translocation to the plasma membrane. Latrepirdine also increased mitochondrial uptake of the voltage-sensitive probe TMRM. Gene silencing of AMPK? or its upstream kinases, LKB1 and CaMKK?, inhibited this effect. However, studies using the plasma membrane potential indicator DisBAC2(3) demonstrated that the effects of latrepirdine on TMRM uptake were largely mediated by plasma membrane hyperpolarization, precluding a purely 'mitochondrial' mechanism of action. In line with a stabilizing effect of latrepirdine on plasma membrane potential, pretreatment with latrepirdine reduced spontaneous Ca(2+) oscillations as well as glutamate-induced Ca(2+) increases in primary neurons, and protected neurons against glutamate toxicity. In conclusion, our experiments demonstrate that latrepirdine is a potent activator of AMPK, and suggest that one of the main pharmacological activities of latrepirdine is a reduction in neuronal excitability.
Project description:Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) has been widely used to monitor membrane properties by measuring the lateral diffusion of fluorescent particles. This protocol describes how to perform two-photon FRAP on the stereocilia of live cochlear inner hair cells using a lipophilic dye, di-3-ANEPPDHQ, to assess the stereociliary membrane diffusivity. We also detail two-photon FRAP microscope setup and calibration, as well as FRAP parameter setting and data analysis. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to George et al. (2020).
Project description:Glial calcium (Ca(2+)) waves constitute a means to spread signals between glial cells and to neighboring neurons and blood vessels. These waves occur spontaneously in Bergmann glia (BG) of the mouse cerebellar cortex in vivo. Here, we tested three hypotheses: (1) aging and reduced blood oxygen saturation alters wave activity; (2) glial Ca(2+) waves change cerebral oxygen metabolism; and (3) neuronal and glial wave activity is correlated. We used two-photon microscopy in the cerebellar cortexes of adult (8- to 15-week-old) and aging (48- to 80-week-old) ketamine-anesthetized mice after bolus loading with OGB-1/AM and SR101. We report that the occurrence of spontaneous waves is 20 times more frequent in the cerebellar cortex of aging as compared with adult mice, which correlated with a reduction in resting brain oxygen tension. In adult mice, spontaneous glial wave activity increased on reducing resting brain oxygen tension, and ATP-evoked glial waves reduced the tissue O(2) tension. Finally, although spontaneous Purkinje cell (PC) activity was not associated with increased glia wave activity, spontaneous glial waves did affect intracellular Ca(2+) activity in PCs. The increased wave activity during aging, as well as low resting brain oxygen tension, suggests a relationship between glial waves, brain energy homeostasis, and pathology.
Project description:Adaptor protein p66Shc is overexpressed in smooth muscle cells of renal resistance vessels of hypertensive salt-sensitive rats and is involved in the regulation of renal vascular tone. We applied 2-photon laser scanning fluorescence microscopy to analyze spontaneous dynamic fluctuations in intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca<sup>2+</sup>]<sub>i</sub>) in smooth muscle cells embedded in the walls of freshly isolated renal resistance arteries. The amplitude, number of events, and frequency of spontaneous [Ca<sup>2+</sup>]<sub>i</sub> oscillations triggered by endogenously released endothelin-1 were recorded in smooth muscle cells of the renal arteries. Endothelin receptor A antagonist BQ123 dramatically reduced the amplitude and frequency of spontaneous Ca<sup>2+</sup> events, producing marked inhibition of renal vessels spontaneous motion. Spontaneous Ca<sup>2+</sup> fluctuations in smooth muscle cells of p66Shc knockout (p66ShcKO) rats had significantly higher amplitude than in control rats. The frequency of spontaneous [Ca<sup>2+</sup>]<sub>i</sub> oscillations did not change in p66ShcKO rats, suggesting that p66Shc expression did not affect endothelin-1 release from resident endothelial cells. Acute application of endothelin-1 revealed significantly elevated production of the total [Ca<sup>2+</sup>]<sub>i</sub> in p66ShcKO rats. Spontaneous cytosolic Ca<sup>2+</sup> oscillations in smooth muscle cells of renal vessels mediate their spontaneous motion via the endothelin-1/endothelin receptor A pathway. p66Shc decreases the amplitude of individual changes in [Ca<sup>2+</sup>]<sub>i</sub>, which mitigates the spontaneous motion of renal vessels.-Palygin, O., Miller, B. S., Nishijima, Y., Zhang, D. X., Staruschenko, A., Sorokin, A. Endothelin receptor A and p66Shc regulate spontaneous Ca<sup>2+</sup> oscillations in smooth muscle cells controlling renal arterial spontaneous motion.
Project description:During much of sleep, cortical neurons undergo near-synchronous slow oscillation cycles in membrane potential, which give rise to the largest spontaneous waves observed in the normal electroencephalogram (EEG). Slow oscillations underlie characteristic features of the sleep EEG, such as slow waves and spindles. Here we show that, in sleeping subjects, slow waves and spindles can be triggered noninvasively and reliably by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). With appropriate stimulation parameters, each TMS pulse at <1 Hz evokes an individual, high-amplitude slow wave that originates under the coil and spreads over the cortex. TMS triggering of slow waves reveals intrinsic bistability in thalamocortical networks during non-rapid eye movement sleep. Moreover, evoked slow waves lead to a deepening of sleep and to an increase in EEG slow-wave activity (0.5-4.5 Hz), which is thought to play a role in brain restoration and memory consolidation.
Project description:RATIONALE:Cardiac myocyte contraction is caused by Ca(2+) binding to troponin C, which triggers the cross-bridge power stroke and myofilament sliding in sarcomeres. Synchronized Ca(2+) release causes whole cell contraction and is readily observable with current microscopy techniques. However, it is unknown whether localized Ca(2+) release, such as Ca(2+) sparks and waves, can cause local sarcomere contraction. Contemporary imaging methods fall short of measuring microdomain Ca(2+)-contraction coupling in live cardiac myocytes. OBJECTIVE:To develop a method for imaging sarcomere level Ca(2+)-contraction coupling in healthy and disease model cardiac myocytes. METHODS AND RESULTS:Freshly isolated cardiac myocytes were loaded with the Ca(2+)-indicator fluo-4. A confocal microscope equipped with a femtosecond-pulsed near-infrared laser was used to simultaneously excite second harmonic generation from A-bands of myofibrils and 2-photon fluorescence from fluo-4. Ca(2+) signals and sarcomere strain correlated in space and time with short delays. Furthermore, Ca(2+) sparks and waves caused contractions in subcellular microdomains, revealing a previously underappreciated role for these events in generating subcellular strain during diastole. Ca(2+) activity and sarcomere strain were also imaged in paced cardiac myocytes under mechanical load, revealing spontaneous Ca(2+) waves and correlated local contraction in pressure-overload-induced cardiomyopathy. CONCLUSIONS:Multimodal second harmonic generation 2-photon fluorescence microscopy enables the simultaneous observation of Ca(2+) release and mechanical strain at the subsarcomere level in living cardiac myocytes. The method benefits from the label-free nature of second harmonic generation, which allows A-bands to be imaged independently of T-tubule morphology and simultaneously with Ca(2+) indicators. Second harmonic generation 2-photon fluorescence imaging is widely applicable to the study of Ca(2+)-contraction coupling and mechanochemotransduction in both health and disease.
Project description:Fluoro-Gold is a fluorescent neuronal tracer suitable for targeted deep imaging of the nervous system. Widefield fluorescence microscopy enables visualization of Fluoro-Gold, but lacks depth discrimination. Though scanning laser confocal microscopy yields volumetric data, imaging depth is limited, and optimal single-photon excitation of Fluoro-Gold requires an unconventional ultraviolet excitation line. Two-photon excitation microscopy employs ultrafast pulsed infrared lasers to image fluorophores at high-resolution at unparalleled depths in opaque tissue. Deep imaging of Fluoro-Gold-labeled neurons carries potential to advance understanding of the central and peripheral nervous systems, yet its two-photon spectral and temporal properties remain uncharacterized. Herein, we report the two-photon excitation spectrum of Fluoro-Gold between 720 and 990 nm, and its fluorescence decay rate in aqueous solution and murine brainstem tissue. We demonstrate unprecedented imaging depth of whole-mounted murine brainstem via two-photon excitation microscopy of Fluoro-Gold labeled facial motor nuclei. Optimal two-photon excitation of Fluoro-Gold within microscope tuning range occurred at 720 nm, while maximum lifetime contrast was observed at 760 nm with mean fluorescence lifetime of 1.4 ns. Whole-mount brainstem explants were readily imaged to depths in excess of 450 µm via immersion in refractive-index matching solution.