Non-invasive imaging of cell metabolism is a valuable approach to assess the efficacy of stem cell therapy and understand the tissue development. In this study we analyzed metabolic trajectory of the mesenchymal stem cells (MCSs) during differentiation into adipocytes by measuring fluorescence lifetimes of free and bound forms of the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(P)H) and flavine adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Undifferentiated MSCs and MSCs on the 5, 12, 19, 26 days of differentiation were imaged on a Zeiss 710 microscope with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) system B&H (Germany). Fluorescence of NAD(P)H and FAD was excited at 750 nm and 900 nm, respectively, by a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser and detected in a range 455-500 nm and 500-550 nm, correspondingly. We observed the changes in the NAD(P)H and FAD fluorescence lifetimes and their relative contributions in the differentiated adipocytes compare to undifferentiated MSCs. Increase of fluorescence lifetimes of the free and bound forms of NAD(P)H and the contribution of protein-bound NAD(P)H was registered, that can be associated with a metabolic switch from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation and/or synthesis of lipids in adipogenically differentiated MSCs. We also found that the contribution of protein-bound FAD decreased during differentiation. After carrying out appropriate biochemical measurements, the observed changes in cellular metabolism can potentially serve to monitor stem cell differentiation by FLIM.
Recently, great deal of interest is investigation the function of the stem cells (SC) in tumors. In this study, we studied
«recipient–tumor– fluorescent stem cells » system using the methods of in vivo imaging and laser scanning microscopy
(LSM). We used adipose-derived adult stem (ADAS) cells of human lentiviral transfected with the gene of fluorescent protein Turbo FP635. ADAS cells were administrated into nude mice with transplanted tumor HeLa Kyoto (human cervical carcinoma) at different stages of tumor growth (0-8 days) intravenously or into tumor. In vivo imaging was performed on the experimental setup for epi – luminescence bioimaging (IAP RAS, Nizhny Novgorod). The results of the imaging showed localization of fluorophore tagged stem cells in the spleen on day 5-9 after injection. The sensitivity of the technique may be improved by spectral separation autofluorescence and
fluorescence of stem cells. We compared the results of in vivo imaging and confocal laser scanning microscopy (LSM 510 META, Carl Zeiss, Germany). Internal organs of the animals and tumor tissue were investigated. It was shown that with i.v. injection of ADAS, bright fluorescent structures with spectral characteristics corresponding to TurboFP635 protein are locally accumulated in the marrow, lungs and tumors of animals. These findings indicate that ADAS cells integrate in the animal body with transplanted tumor and can be identified by fluorescence bioimaging techniques in vivo and ex vivo.