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      Three-Dimensional Imaging of Intraplaque Neovascularization in a Mouse Model of Advanced Atherosclerosis

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          Multiple lines of evidence suggest that intraplaque (IP) neovascularization promotes atherosclerotic plaque growth, destabilization, and rupture. However, pharmacological inhibition of IP neovascularization remains largely unexplored due to the limited number of animal models that develop IP neovessels and the lack of reliable methods for visualizing IP angiogenesis. Here, we applied 3D confocal microscopy with an optimized tissue-clearing process, immunolabeling-enabled three-dimensional imaging of solvent-cleared organs, to visualize IP neovessels in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE<sup>−/−</sup>) mice carrying a heterozygous mutation (C1039+/−) in the fibrillin-1 gene. Unlike regular ApoE<sup>−/−</sup> mice, this mouse model is characterized by the presence of advanced plaques with evident IP neovascularization. Plaques were stained with antibodies against endothelial marker CD31 for 3 days, followed by incubation with fluorescently labeled secondary antibodies. Subsequent tissue clearing with dichloromethane (DCM)/methanol, DCM, and dibenzyl ether allowed easy visualization and 3D reconstruction of the IP vascular network while plaque morphology remained intact.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Neovascularization in human atherosclerosis.

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            iDISCO: a simple, rapid method to immunolabel large tissue samples for volume imaging.

            The visualization of molecularly labeled structures within large intact tissues in three dimensions is an area of intense focus. We describe a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method, iDISCO, that permits whole-mount immunolabeling with volume imaging of large cleared samples ranging from perinatal mouse embryos to adult organs, such as brains or kidneys. iDISCO is modeled on classical histology techniques, facilitating translation of section staining assays to intact tissues, as evidenced by compatibility with 28 antibodies to both endogenous antigens and transgenic reporters like GFP. When applied to degenerating neurons, iDISCO revealed unexpected variability in number of apoptotic neurons within individual sensory ganglia despite tight control of total number in all ganglia. It also permitted imaging of single degenerating axons in adult brain and the first visualization of cleaved Caspase-3 in degenerating embryonic sensory axons in vivo, even single axons. iDISCO enables facile volume imaging of immunolabeled structures in complex tissues. PAPERCLIP:
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              Clarifying Tissue Clearing.

              Biological specimens are intrinsically three dimensional; however, because of the obscuring effects of light scatter, imaging deep into a tissue volume is problematic. Although efforts to eliminate the scatter by "clearing" the tissue have been ongoing for over a century, there have been a large number of recent innovations. This Review introduces the physical basis for light scatter in tissue, describes the mechanisms underlying various clearing techniques, and discusses several of the major advances in light microscopy for imaging cleared tissue.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                November 2020
                01 July 2020
                : 57
                : 6
                : 348-354
                aLaboratory of Physiopharmacology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
                bLaboratory of Cell Biology and Histology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
                cDepartment of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
                dEinthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
                Author notes
                *Wim Martinet, Laboratory of Physiopharmacology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, BE–2610 Antwerp (Belgium),
                508449 J Vasc Res 2020;57:348–354
                © 2020 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: 6, Pages: 7
                Methods in Vascular Biology


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