Glucose is consumed as an energy source by virtually all living organisms, from bacteria to humans. Its uptake activity closely reflects the cellular metabolic status in various pathophysiological transformations, such as diabetes and cancer. Extensive efforts such as positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and fluorescence microscopy have been made to specifically image glucose uptake activity but all with technical limitations. Here, we report a new platform to visualize glucose uptake activity in live cells and tissues with subcellular resolution and minimal perturbation. A novel glucose analogue with a small alkyne tag (carbon-carbon triple bond) is developed to mimic natural glucose for cellular uptake, which can be imaged with high sensitivity and specificity by targeting the strong and characteristic alkyne vibration on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscope to generate a quantitative three dimensional concentration map. Cancer cells with differing metabolic characteristics can be distinguished. Heterogeneous uptake patterns are observed in tumor xenograft tissues, neuronal culture and mouse brain tissues with clear cell-cell variations. Therefore, by offering the distinct advantage of optical resolution but without the undesirable influence of bulky fluorophores, our method of coupling SRS with alkyne labeled glucose will be an attractive tool to study energy demands of living systems at the single cell level.
Fanghao Hu, Zhixing Chen, Luyuan Zhang, Yihui Shen, Lu Wei, and Wei Min, "Vibrational imaging of glucose uptake activity in live cells and tissues by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9723, Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications VIII, 97230B (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2211787.4848770176001.
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