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      Two-Photon Microscopy for Imaging of the (Atherosclerotic) Vascular Wall: A Proof of Concept Study

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          Abstract

          Background: Understanding atherogenesis will benefit significantly from simultaneous imaging, both ex vivo and in vivo, of structural and functional information at the (sub)cellular level within intact arteries. Due to limited penetration depth and loss of resolution with depth, intravital and confocal fluorescence microscopy are not suitable to study (sub)cellular details in arteries with wall thicknesses above 50 µm. Methods: Using two-photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM), which combines 3D resolution and large penetration depth, we imaged mouse carotid arteries. Results: In thin slices, (sub)cellular structures identified using histochemical techniques could also be identified using TPLSM. Ex vivo, structural experiments on intact atherosclerotic arteries of Apo-E<sup>–/–</sup> mice demonstrated that in contrast to confocal or wide-field microscopy, TPLSM can be used to visualize (sub) cellular structural details of atherosclerotic plaques. In vivo, pilot experiments were carried out on healthy arteries of wild-type C57BL6 and atherosclerotic arteries of Apo-E<sup>–/–</sup> mice. As an example of functional measurements, we visualized fluorescently labeled leukocytes in vivo in the lumen. Additionally, detailed morphological information of vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaque was obtained after topical staining. Conclusions: Thus, TPLSM potentially allows combined functional and structural studies and can therefore be eminently suitable for investigating structure-function relationships at the cellular level in atherogenesis in the mouse.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Water-soluble quantum dots for multiphoton fluorescence imaging in vivo.

          The use of semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) as fluorescent labels for multiphoton microscopy enables multicolor imaging in demanding biological environments such as living tissue. We characterized water-soluble cadmium selenide-zinc sulfide quantum dots for multiphoton imaging in live animals. These fluorescent probes have two-photon action cross sections as high as 47,000 Goeppert-Mayer units, by far the largest of any label used in multiphoton microscopy. We visualized quantum dots dynamically through the skin of living mice, in capillaries hundreds of micrometers deep. We found no evidence of blinking (fluorescence intermittency) in solution on nanosecond to millisecond time scales.
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            Live tissue intrinsic emission microscopy using multiphoton-excited native fluorescence and second harmonic generation.

            Multicolor nonlinear microscopy of living tissue using two- and three-photon-excited intrinsic fluorescence combined with second harmonic generation by supermolecular structures produces images with the resolution and detail of standard histology without the use of exogenous stains. Imaging of intrinsic indicators within tissue, such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, retinol, indoleamines, and collagen provides crucial information for physiology and pathology. The efficient application of multiphoton microscopy to intrinsic imaging requires knowledge of the nonlinear optical properties of specific cell and tissue components. Here we compile and demonstrate applications involving a range of intrinsic molecules and molecular assemblies that enable direct visualization of tissue morphology, cell metabolism, and disease states such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
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              Circulating activated platelets exacerbate atherosclerosis in mice deficient in apolipoprotein E.

              We studied whether circulating activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte aggregates cause the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein-E-deficient (Apoe(-/-)) mice. Circulating activated platelets bound to leukocytes, preferentially monocytes, to form platelet-monocyte/leukocyte aggregates. Activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte aggregates interacted with atherosclerotic lesions. The interactions of activated platelets with monocytes and atherosclerotic arteries led to delivery of the platelet-derived chemokines CCL5 (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted, RANTES) and CXCL4 (platelet factor 4) to the monocyte surface and endothelium of atherosclerotic arteries. The presence of activated platelets promoted leukocyte binding of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and increased their adhesiveness to inflamed or atherosclerotic endothelium. Injection of activated wild-type, but not P-selectin-deficient, platelets increased monocyte arrest on the surface of atherosclerotic lesions and the size of atherosclerotic lesions in Apoe(-/-) mice. Our results indicate that circulating activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte/monocyte aggregates promote formation of atherosclerotic lesions. This role of activated platelets in atherosclerosis is attributed to platelet P-selectin-mediated delivery of platelet-derived proinflammatory factors to monocytes/leukocytes and the vessel wall.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                2004
                February 2004
                20 February 2004
                : 41
                : 1
                : 54-63
                Affiliations
                Departments of aBiophysics, bPathology and cPhysiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, and dDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
                Article
                76246 J Vasc Res 2004;41:54–63
                10.1159/000076246
                14730202
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 34, Pages: 10
                Categories
                Research Paper

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