Optical visualization of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathological changes is crucial to facilitate exploration of disease mechanism and treatment. We developed cryo-micro-optical sectioning tomography (cryo-MOST) to acquire brainwide map of senile plaques. Using intrinsic fluorescence emission intensified under ultra-low temperature, we accomplished senile plaque visualization at a micron-level resolution. A whole-brain coronal distribution of senile plaque in a transgenic mouse was successfully acquired without any exogenous dye. We believe cryo-MOST would be a potential tool for understanding neurodegenerative disease mechanism and evaluating drug efficacy.
The redox metabolism is variable and complicated with the progress of tumor development. Whether the tumor redox state will affect the exogenous gene expression or not, are still not clear now . To investigate the relationship between tumor endogenous redox state and the exogenous gene expression level, a far red fluorescent protein fRFP was used to monitor tumor cells proliferation and as an exogenous protein expression in tumors. NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and Fp (flavin protein) are two important coenzymes in the mitochondria respiratory chain, which can be as a standard representation for redox metabolism state. Three tumor subcutaneous models (melanoma, human pancreatic carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma) were used to observe their redox state and protein expression by our home-made redox scanner. The results showed that the distribution of fRFP fluorescent protein expression in the inner tumor regions are heterogeneous, and the fluorescent intensity of fRFP and the fluorescent intensity of NADH have high correlation. In addition, we also found the linear coefficient in three tumors are different, the value of coefficient is (R2 = 0.966 and R2 = 0.943) in melanoma, (R2 = 0.701 and R2 = 0.942) in human pancreatic carcinoma, and (R2 = 0.994) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, respectively. From these results, we consider that the exogenous protein expression of fRFP in tumor had some relationship with the tumor redox state of NADH.
Cryo-imaging techniques have been widely used to measure the metabolic state of tissues by capturing reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) autofluorescence. However, NADH and FAD fluorescence is sensitive to changes in temperature, which may result in unreliable redox ratio calculations. Here, the relationship between the measured redox ratio and sample surface temperature was analyzed using a standard phantom solution and biological tissues. The results indicated that a temperature <−100°C was a suitable cryo-imaging temperature window in which redox ratio measuring was immune to temperature fluctuations. These results may serve as a reference for designing and optimizing redox cryo-imaging experiments for quantitatively mapping the metabolic state of biological samples.
KillerRed is a unique red fluorescent protein exhibiting excellent phototoxic properties. It has the ability to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), for killing tumor cells in vitro upon laser irradiation and has the potential to act as a photosensitizer in the application of tumor therapy. Here, we investigated the effects of KillerRed-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) on tumor growth in vivo and examined the subsequent tumor metabolic states including the changes of pyridine nucleotide (PN) and flavoprotein (Fp), two important metabolic coenzymes of tumor cells. Results showed that the tumor was scabbed in response to 561 nm laser irradiation at 80 mV for 3 min, and the tumor growth had been significantly inhibited by KillerRed-based PDT treatment compared to control groups. More importantly, a home-made cryo-imaging redox scanner was used to measure intrinsic fluorescence and exogenous KillerRed fluorescence signals in tumors. The flavoprotein was remarkable elevated and the PN was seldom increased with concomitant photobleaching of KillerRed fluorescence after irradiation, suggesting that flavoprotein and PN were oxidized in the course of KillerRed-based PDT.