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Jehwi Jeon, Yoonha Hwang, Jingu Lee, Eunji Kong, Jieun Moon, Sujung Hong, Pilhan Kim; Intravital Imaging of Circulating Red Blood Cells in the Retinal Vasculature of Growing Mice. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(4):31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.4.31.
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To establish a custom-built, high-speed 90 frame-per-second laser-scanning confocal microscope for real-time in vivo retinal imaging of individual flowing red blood cells (RBCs) in retinal vasculature of live mouse model.
Fluorescently labeled RBCs were injected into mice of different ages (3 to 62 weeks old). Anti-CD31 antibody conjugated with Alexa Fluor 647 was injected to visualize retinal endothelial cells (ECs). Longitudinal and cross-sectional intravital retinal imaging of flowing RBCs and ECs was performed in two strains (C57BL/6 and Balb/c) by using the custom-built confocal microscope.
Simultaneous tracking of the routes of many fluorescently labeled individual RBCs flowing from a large artery and vein to a single capillary in the retina of live mice was achieved, which enabled in vivo measurement of retinal RBC flow velocities in each vessel type in growing mice from 3 to 62 weeks after birth. Average RBC flow velocities were gradually increased during growing from 3 to 14 weeks by more than two times. Then the average RBC flow velocity was maintained at about 20 mm/s in artery and 16 mm/s in vein until 62 weeks.
Our study successfully established a custom-built high-speed 90-Hz retinal confocal microscope for measuring RBC flow velocity at the single cell level. It could be a useful tool to investigate the pathophysiology of various retinal diseases associated with blood flow impairment.
This technological method could be a valuable assessment tool to help the development of novel therapeutics for retinal diseases.
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