Pulsed local-field fluorescence microscopy: a new approach for measuring cellular signals in the beating heart
Pflugers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology
In cardiac research, single-cell experimental models have been extensively used to study the molecular mechanisms of intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis. The results of these studies are usually extrapolated to the tissue level assuming that the phenomena studied at the cellular level are either similar in the intact organ, or only slightly modified by variables that exist at the whole-heart level. The validity of these assumptions has rarely been confirmed experimentally. Common obstacles associated with the study of intracellular Ca(2+) signals in beating hearts include motion artifacts and spatio-temporal limitations of the recording system. In this work, action potentials and intracellular Ca(2+) signals were measured in beating hearts from young rats, with spatio-temporal resolutions similar to cellular studies using a novel pulsed local-field fluorescence technique. This method was based on maximizing emitted fluorescence to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). The fluorescence emission of the indicator molecules was synchronized with brief (<1 >ns), high-power (400 W) laser pulses, and the common mode noise of the fluorescence signal was differentially cancelled. To follow rapidly evolving signals, a highly sensitive and fast detection system was used (10 kHz). The spatial resolution was improved using a small (50-200 microm diameter) multimode fiberoptic. Mechanical artifacts were effectively reduced by inserting the fiberoptic into a "floating" glass micropipette sealed to the heart wall with negative pressure. Our results demonstrate that local-field fluorescence microscopy offers an outstanding experimental approach for studying physiological signals at the whole-organ level with the high spatio-temporal resolution common to normal cellular approaches.
Villalba-Galea, C. A.,
del Valle Fernández, L.,
Escobar, A. L.
Pulsed local-field fluorescence microscopy: a new approach for measuring cellular signals in the beating heart.
Pflugers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology, 445(6), 747–758.