• 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.
    • Multicolor Time-lapse Imaging of Transgenic Zebrafish: Visualizing Retinal Stem Cells Activated by Targeted Neuronal Cell Ablation

      Ariga, Junko; Walker, Steven L.; Mumm, Jeff S.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy (2010-09-20)
      High-resolution time-lapse imaging of living zebrafish larvae can be utilized to visualize how biological processes unfold (for review see 1). Compound transgenic fish which express different fluorescent reporters in neighboring cell types provide a means of following cellular interactions 2 and/or tissue-level responses to experimental manipulations over time. In this video, we demonstrate methods that can be used for imaging multiple transgenically labeled cell types serially in individual fish over time courses that can span from minutes to several days. The techniques described are applicable to any study seeking to correlate the "behavior" of neighboring cells types over time, including: 1) serial 'catch and release' methods for imaging a large number of fish over successive days, 2) simplified approaches for separating fluorophores with overlapping excitation/emission profiles (e.g., GFP and YFP), 3) use of hypopigmented mutant lines to extend the time window available for high-resolution imaging into late larval stages of development, 4) use of membrane targeted fluorescent reporters to reveal fine morphological detail of individual cells as well as cellular details in larger populations of cells, and 5) a previously described method for chemically-induced ablation of transgenically targeted cell types; i.e., nitroreductase (NTR) mediated conversion of prodrug substrates, such as metronidazole (MTZ), to cytotoxic derivatives 3,5.