• Label-Free 3D Visualization of Cellular and Tissue Structures in Intact Muscle with Second and Third Harmonic Generation Microscopy

      Rehberg, Markus; Krombach, Fritz; Pohl, Ulrich; Dietzel, Steffen; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2011-11-28)
      Second and Third Harmonic Generation (SHG and THG) microscopy is based on optical effects which are induced by specific inherent physical properties of a specimen. As a multi-photon laser scanning approach which is not based on fluorescence it combines the advantages of a label-free technique with restriction of signal generation to the focal plane, thus allowing high resolution 3D reconstruction of image volumes without out-of-focus background several hundred micrometers deep into the tissue. While in mammalian soft tissues SHG is mostly restricted to collagen fibers and striated muscle myosin, THG is induced at a large variety of structures, since it is generated at interfaces such as refraction index changes within the focal volume of the excitation laser. Besides, colorants such as hemoglobin can cause resonance enhancement, leading to intense THG signals. We applied SHG and THG microscopy to murine (Mus musculus) muscles, an established model system for physiological research, to investigate their potential for label-free tissue imaging. In addition to collagen fibers and muscle fiber substructure, THG allowed us to visualize blood vessel walls and erythrocytes as well as white blood cells adhering to vessel walls, residing in or moving through the extravascular tissue. Moreover peripheral nerve fibers could be clearly identified. Structure down to the nuclear chromatin distribution was visualized in 3D and with more detail than obtainable by bright field microscopy. To our knowledge, most of these objects have not been visualized previously by THG or any label-free 3D approach. THG allows label-free microscopy with inherent optical sectioning and therefore may offer similar improvements compared to bright field microscopy as does confocal laser scanning microscopy compared to conventional fluorescence microscopy.
    • Rhabdomyosarcomas in Aging A/J Mice

      Sher, Roger B.; Cox, Gregory A.; Mills, Kevin D.; Sundberg, John P.; McNeil, Paul L.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2011-08-10)
      Rhabdomyosarcomas (RSCs) are skeletal muscle neoplasms found in humans and domestic mammals. The A/J inbred strain developed a high frequency (between 70â 80%) of adult pleomorphic type (APT) RSC at >20 months of age while BALB/cByJ also develop RSC but less frequently. These neoplasms invaded skeletal muscle surrounding either the axial or proximal appendicular skeleton and were characterized by pleomorphic cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, multiple nuclei, and cross striations. The diagnosis was confirmed by detection of alpha-sarcomeric actin and myogenin in the neoplastic cells using immunocytochemistry. The A/J strain, but not the related BALB/c substrains, is also characterised by a progressive muscular dystrophy homologous to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B. The association between the development of RSC in similar muscle groups to those most severely affected by the progressive muscular dystrophy suggested that these neoplasms developed from abnormal regeneration of the skeletal muscle exacerbated by the dysferlin mutation. Transcriptome analyses of RSCs revealed marked downregulation of genes in muscular development and function signaling networks. Non-synonymous coding SNPs were found in Myl1, Abra, Sgca, Ttn, and Kcnj12 suggesting these may be important in the pathogenesis of RSC. These studies suggest that A strains of mice can be useful models for dissecting the molecular genetic basis for development, progression, and ultimately for testing novel anticancer therapeutic agents dealing with rhabdomyosarcoma.