Fluorimetric multiparameter cell assay at the single cell level fabricated by optical tweezers. (1/3679)

A fluorimetric multi-parameter cell sensor at the single cell level is presented which makes it possible to observe the physiological behavior of different cell lines, different physiological parameters, and statistical data at the same time. Different cell types were immobilized at predefined positions with high accuracy using optical tweezers and adhesion promoting surface layers. The process is applicable to both adherent and non-adherent cells. Coating of the immobilization area with mussel adhesive protein was shown to be essential for the process. Intracellular proton and calcium concentrations in different cell classes were simultaneously imaged and the specific activation of T lymphocytes was demonstrated. This method should be especially useful for drug screening due to the small sample volume and high information density.  (+info)

A repetitive mode of activation of discrete Ca2+ release events (Ca2+ sparks) in frog skeletal muscle fibres. (2/3679)

1. Ca2+ release events (Ca2+ 'sparks'), which are believed to arise from the opening of a sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release channel or a small cluster of such channels that act as a release unit, have been measured in single, frog (Rana pipiens) skeletal muscle fibres. 2. Under conditions of extremely low rates of occurrence of Ca2+ sparks we observed, within individual identified triads, repetitive Ca2+ release events which occurred at a frequency more than 100-fold greater than the prevailing average event rate. Repetitive sparks were recorded during voltage-clamp test depolarizations after a brief (0.3-2 s) repriming interval in fibres held at 0 mV and in chronically depolarized, 'notched' fibres. 3. These repetitive events are likely to arise from the re-opening of the same SR Ca2+ release channel or release unit operating in a repetitive gating mode ('rep-mode'), rather than from the random activation of multiple, independent channels or release units within a triad. A train of rep-mode events thus represents a series of Ca2+ sparks arising from a single location within the fibre. Rep-mode events are activated among different triads in a random manner after brief repriming. The frequency of repetitive events among all identified events during voltage-clamp depolarization to 0 mV after brief repriming was 3.9 +/- 1.3 %. The occurrence of repetitive events was not related to exposure of the fibre to laser illumination. 4. The events observed within a rep-mode train exhibited a relatively uniform amplitude. Analysis of intervals between identified events in triads exhibiting rep-mode trains indicated similar variations of fluorescence as in neighbouring, quiescent triads, suggesting there was not a significant number of small, unidentified events at the triads exhibiting rep-mode activity. 5. The distribution of rep-mode interspark intervals exhibited a paucity of events at short intervals, consistent with the need for recovery from inactivation before activation of the next event in a repetitive train. The mean interspark interval of repetitive sparks during voltage-clamp depolarizations was 88 +/- 5 ms, and was independent of membrane potential. 6. The individual Ca2+ sparks within a rep-mode train were similar in average amplitude and spatiotemporal extent to singly occurring sparks, suggesting a common mechanism for termination of the channel opening(s) underlying both types of events. The average properties of the sparks did not vary during a train. The relative amplitude of a spark within a rep-mode was not correlated with its rise time. 7. Repetitive Ca2+ release events represent a mode of gating of SR Ca2+ release channels which may be significant during long depolarizations and which may be influenced by the biochemical state of the SR ryanodine receptor Ca2+ release channels.  (+info)

Elimination of EVE protein by CALI in the short germ band insect Tribolium suggests a conserved pair-rule function for even skipped. (3/3679)

The question of the degree of evolutionary conservation of the pair-rule patterning mechanism known from Drosophila is still contentious. We have employed chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to inactivate the function of the pair-rule gene even skipped (eve) in the short germ embryo of the flour beetle Tribolium. We show that it is possible to generate pair-rule type phenocopies with defects in alternating segments. Interestingly, we find the defects in odd numbered segments and not in even numbered ones as in Drosophila. However, this apparent discrepancy can be explained if one takes into account that the primary action of eve is at the level of parasegments and that different cuticular markers are used for defining the segment borders in the two species. In this light, we find that eve appears to be required for the formation of the anterior borders of the same odd numbered parasegments in both species. We conclude that the primary function of eve as a pair rule gene is conserved between the two species.  (+info)

Enhanced hatching rate of bovine IVM/IVF/IVC blastocysts using a 1.48-micron diode laser beam. (4/3679)

PURPOSE: Our purpose was to test whether zona pellucida (ZP) drilling using a 1.48-micron diode laser beam on bovine IVM/IVF/IVC blastocysts is effective for embryo hatching. METHODS: Blastocysts produced in vitro at day 7 after IVF were divided into control and laser-drilled groups, respectively. RESULTS: When the rates of in vitro development of bovine embryos were examined, the average cleavage rate (> or = two-cell) was 82.3% and the blastocyst rate at day 7 after IVF was 32.5%. Using these blastocysts, when the laser drilling effect was investigated at 48 hr after treatment, the total hatching rate in the laser-drilled group (98.0%) was significantly higher than that in the control group (60.0%) (P < 0.001). Especially, the hatched rate of the laser-drilled group (68.0%) was significantly enhanced compared with that of the control group (30.0%) (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrated that laser ZP drilling on bovine IVM/IVF/IVC blastocysts can significantly increase the hatching rate.  (+info)

Altered ligand rebinding kinetics due to distal-side effects in hemoglobin chico (Lysbeta66(E10) --> thr). (5/3679)

Hb Chico is an unusual human hemoglobin variant that has lowered oxygen affinity, but unaltered cooperativity and anion sensitivity. Previous studies showed these features to be associated with distal-side heme pocket alterations that confer increased structural rigidity on the molecule and that increase water content in the beta-chain heme pocket. We report here that the extent of nanosecond geminate rebinding of oxygen to the variant and its isolated beta-chains is appreciably decreased. Structural alterations in this variant decrease its oxygen recombination rates without significantly altering rates of migration out of the heme pocket. Data analysis indicates that one or more barriers that impede rebinding of oxygen from docking sites in the heme pocket are increased, with less consequence for CO rebinding. Resonance Raman spectra show no significant alterations in spectral regions sensitive to interactions between the heme iron and the proximal histidine residue, confirming that the functional differences in the variant are due to distal-side heme pocket alterations. These effects are discussed in the context of a schematic representation of heme pocket wells and barriers that could aid the design of novel hemoglobins with altered ligand affinity without loss of the normal allosteric responses that facilitate unloading of oxygen to respiring tissues.  (+info)

Laser induced phagocytosis in the pigment epithelium of the Hunter dystrophic rat. (6/3679)

The retinae of 14-day-old Hunter dystrophic rats have been subjected to low-energy irradiation by a pulsed ruby laser. Fifteen days after exposure, pigment epithelial cells had proliferated and repopulated the irradiated areas. In all such areas the subretinal photoreceptor debris had been reduced or lost.  (+info)

Undercarboxylation of recombinant prothrombin revealed by analysis of gamma-carboxyglutamic acid using capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence. (7/3679)

The gamma-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla) content of several variants of human prothrombin has been measured by using capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence (CE-LIF). Both plasma-derived prothrombin and recombinant prothrombin contain ten residues of Gla per molecule of protein. In contrast, a variant of human prothrombin (containing the second kringle domain of bovine prothrombin) was separated into two populations that differed in their Gla content. Direct measurement of the Gla content showed an association with the presence or absence of the calcium-dependent conformational change that is required for prothombinase function. Thus, the CE-LIF assay is useful in determining the carboxylation status of recombinant proteins.  (+info)

High-speed, random-access fluorescence microscopy: II. Fast quantitative measurements with voltage-sensitive dyes. (8/3679)

An improved method for making fast quantitative determinations of membrane potential with voltage-sensitive dyes is presented. This method incorporates a high-speed, random-access, laser-scanning scheme (Bullen et al., 1997. Biophys. J. 73:477-491) with simultaneous detection at two emission wavelengths. The basis of this ratiometric approach is the voltage-dependent shift in the emission spectrum of the voltage-sensitive dye di-8-butyl-amino-naphthyl-ethylene-pyridinium-propyl-sulfonate (di-8-ANEPPS). Optical measurements are made at two emission wavelengths, using secondary dichroic beamsplitting and dual photodetectors (<570 nm and >570 nm). Calibration of the ratiometric measurements between signals at these wavelengths was achieved using simultaneous optical and patch-clamp measurements from adjacent points. Data demonstrating the linearity, precision, and accuracy of this technique are presented. Records obtained with this method exhibited a voltage resolution of approximately 5 mV, without any need for temporal or spatial averaging. Ratiometric recordings of action potentials from isolated hippocampal neurons are used to illustrate the usefulness of this approach. This method is unique in that it is the first to allow quantitative determination of dynamic membrane potential changes in a manner optimized for both high spatiotemporal resolution (2 micrometers and <0.5 ms) and voltage discrimination.  (+info)