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(1/1168) Sensitivity and kinetics of mouse rod flash responses determined in vivo from paired-flash electroretinograms.

1. Electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded corneally from C57BL/6J mice using a paired-flash procedure in which a brief test flash at time zero was followed at time tprobe by a bright probe flash of fixed strength, and in which the probe response amplitude was determined at time t = tprobe + 6 ms. Probe responses obtained in a series of paired-flash trials were analysed to derive A(t), a family of amplitudes that putatively represents the massed response of the rod photoreceptors to the test flash. A central aim was to obtain a mathematical description of the normalized derived response A(t)/Amo as a function of Itest, the test flash strength. 2. With fixed tprobe (80 <= tprobe <= 1200 ms), A(t)/Amo was described by the saturating exponential function [1 - exp(-ktItest)], where kt is a time-dependent sensitivity parameter. For t = 86 ms, a time near the peak of A(t), k86 was 7.0 +/- 1.2 (scotopic cd s m-2)-1 (mean +/- s. d.; n = 4). 3. A(t)/Amo data were analysed in relation to the equation below, a time-generalized form of the above exponential function in which (k86Itest) is replaced by the product [k86Itestu(t)], and where u(t) is independent of the test flash strength. The function u(t) was modelled as the product of a scaling factor gamma, an activation term 1 - exp[-alpha(t - td)2]), and a decay term exp(-t/tauomega): A(t)/Amo = 1 - exp[-k86Itestu(t)]; u(t) = gamma(1 - exp[-alpha(t - td)2](exp(-t/tauomega) where td is a brief delay, tauomega is an exponential time constant, and alpha characterizes the acceleration of the activation term. For Itest up to approximately 2.57 scotopic cd s m-2, the overall time course of A(t) was well described by the above equation with gamma = 2.21, td = 3.1 ms, tauomega = 132 ms and alpha = 2.32 x 10-4 ms-2. An approximate halving of alpha improved the fit of the above equation to ERG a-wave and A(t)/Amo data obtained at t about 0-20 ms. 4. Kinetic and sensitivity properties of A(t) suggest that it approximates the in vivo massed photocurrent response of the rods to a test flash, and imply that u(t) in the above equation is the approximate kinetic description of a unit, i.e. single photon, response.  (+info)

(2/1168) Mucosal mast cell secretion processes imaged using three-photon microscopy of 5-hydroxytryptamine autofluorescence.

The secretion process of the mucosal mast cell line RBL-2H3 was imaged using infrared three photon excitation (3PE) of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) autofluorescence, a measurement previously difficult because of the technical intractability of deep UV optics. Images of prestimulation 5-HT distributions were analyzed in loaded cell populations (those incubated in a 5-HT-rich medium overnight) and in unloaded populations and were found to be strictly quantifiable by comparison with bulk population high-performance liquid chromatography measurements. Antigenically stimulated cells were observed to characteristically ruffle and spread as granular 5-HT disappeared with no detectable granule movement. Individual cells exhibited highly heterogeneous release kinetics, often with quasi-periodic bursts. Neighboring granule disappearances were correlated, indicative of either spatially localized signaling or granule-granule interactions. In one-half of the granule release events, weak residual fluorescence was visible suggestive of leftover 5-HT still bound to the granule matrix. The terminal stages of secretion (>300 s) consisted primarily of unresolved granules and remainder 5-HT leakage from already released granules.  (+info)

(3/1168) Single-pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer on freely diffusing molecules: observation of Forster distance dependence and subpopulations.

Photon bursts from single diffusing donor-acceptor labeled macromolecules were used to measure intramolecular distances and identify subpopulations of freely diffusing macromolecules in a heterogeneous ensemble. By using DNA as a rigid spacer, a series of constructs with varying intramolecular donor-acceptor spacings were used to measure the mean and distribution width of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiencies as a function of distance. The mean single-pair FRET efficiencies qualitatively follow the distance dependence predicted by Forster theory. Possible contributions to the widths of the FRET efficiency distributions are discussed, and potential applications in the study of biopolymer conformational dynamics are suggested. The ability to measure intramolecular (and intermolecular) distances for single molecules implies the ability to distinguish and monitor subpopulations of molecules in a mixture with different distances or conformational states. This is demonstrated by monitoring substrate and product subpopulations before and after a restriction endonuclease cleavage reaction. Distance measurements at single-molecule resolution also should facilitate the study of complex reactions such as biopolymer folding. To this end, the denaturation of a DNA hairpin was examined by using single-pair FRET.  (+info)

(4/1168) Video-rate scanning two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy and ratio imaging with cameleons.

A video-rate (30 frames/s) scanning two-photon excitation microscope has been successfully tested. The microscope, based on a Nikon RCM 8000, incorporates a femtosecond pulsed laser with wavelength tunable from 690 to 1050 nm, prechirper optics for laser pulse-width compression, resonant galvanometer for video-rate point scanning, and a pair of nonconfocal detectors for fast emission ratioing. An increase in fluorescent emission of 1.75-fold is consistently obtained with the use of the prechirper optics. The nonconfocal detectors provide another 2.25-fold increase in detection efficiency. Ratio imaging and optical sectioning can therefore be performed more efficiently without confocal optics. Faster frame rates, at 60, 120, and 240 frames/s, can be achieved with proportionally reduced scan lines per frame. Useful two-photon images can be acquired at video rate with a laser power as low as 2.7 mW at specimen with the genetically modified green fluorescent proteins. Preliminary results obtained using this system confirm that the yellow "cameleons" exhibit similar optical properties as under one-photon excitation conditions. Dynamic two-photon images of cardiac myocytes and ratio images of yellow cameleon-2.1, -3.1, and -3.1nu are also presented.  (+info)

(5/1168) Bleaching of bacteriorhodopsin by continuous light.

A new two step photobleaching process is observed under continuous illumination of bacteriorhodopsin. This photobleaching is considerable even at physiological temperatures and becomes large at 50-60 degrees C. The photobleaching also increases with increasing pH from 7 to 10. We suggest that the bleaching at its final stage could be due to the dissociation of the retinal and a local thermal denaturation-like process. These facts may question the generally held belief that BR is a stable protein in vivo for a long period of time. Our results may have relevance also to practical applications of bacteriorhodopsin where the stability of bacteriorhodopsin is a key issue. In certain instances, the use of bacteriorhodopsin may require cooled conditions. Here, we defined the conditions under which bacteriorhodopsin is stable. The permanent photobleaching offers a new way of picture imaging and information input for bacteriorhodopsin-based optical devices.  (+info)

(6/1168) Multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of correction for photon attenuation and scatter in SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging.

BACKGROUND: Soft tissue attenuation is a prominent cause of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging artifacts, which may result in reduced diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion imaging. A method incorporating simultaneously acquired transmission data permits nonuniform attenuation correction and when incorporating scatter correction and resolution compensation may substantially reduce interpretive errors. METHODS AND RESULTS: A prospective multicenter trial was performed recruiting patients with angiographically documented coronary disease (n=96) and group of subjects with a low likelihood of disease (n=88). The uncorrected and attenuation/scatter corrected images were read independently, without knowledge of the patient's clinical data. The detection of >/=50% stenosis was similar using uncorrected perfusion data or with attenuation/scatter correction and resolution compensation (visual or visual plus quantitative analysis), 76% versus 75% versus 78%, respectively (P=NS). The normalcy rate, however, was significantly improved with this new methodology, using either the corrected images (86% vs 96%; P=0.011) or with the corrected data and quantitative analysis (86% vs 97%; P=0.007). The receiver operator characteristic curves were also found to be marginally but not significantly higher with attenuation/scatter correction than with tradition SPECT imaging. However, the ability to detect multivessel disease was reduced with attenuation/scatter correction. Regional differences were also noted, with reduced sensitivity but improved specificity for right coronary lesions using attenuation/scatter correction methodology. CONCLUSIONS: This multicenter trial demonstrates the initial clinical results of a new SPECT perfusion imaging modality incorporating attenuation and scatter correction in conjunction with 99mTc sestamibi perfusion imaging. Significant improvements in the normalcy rate were noted without a decline in overall sensitivity but with a reduction in detection of extensive coronary disease.  (+info)

(7/1168) The photon counting histogram in fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy.

Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is generally used to obtain information about the number of fluorescent particles in a small volume and the diffusion coefficient from the autocorrelation function of the fluorescence signal. Here we demonstrate that photon counting histogram (PCH) analysis constitutes a novel tool for extracting quantities from fluorescence fluctuation data, i.e., the measured photon counts per molecule and the average number of molecules within the observation volume. The photon counting histogram of fluorescence fluctuation experiments, in which few molecules are present in the excitation volume, exhibits a super-Poissonian behavior. The additional broadening of the PCH compared to a Poisson distribution is due to fluorescence intensity fluctuations. For diffusing particles these intensity fluctuations are caused by an inhomogeneous excitation profile and the fluctuations in the number of particles in the observation volume. The quantitative relationship between the detected photon counts and the fluorescence intensity reaching the detector is given by Mandel's formula. Based on this equation and considering the fluorescence intensity distribution in the two-photon excitation volume, a theoretical expression for the PCH as a function of the number of molecules in the excitation volume is derived. For a single molecular species two parameters are sufficient to characterize the histogram completely, namely the average number of molecules within the observation volume and the detected photon counts per molecule per sampling time epsilon. The PCH for multiple molecular species, on the other hand, is generated by successively convoluting the photon counting distribution of each species with the others. The influence of the excitation profile upon the photon counting statistics for two relevant point spread functions (PSFs), the three-dimensional Gaussian PSF conventionally employed in confocal detection and the square of the Gaussian-Lorentzian PSF for two photon excitation, is explicitly treated. Measured photon counting distributions obtained with a two-photon excitation source agree, within experimental error with the theoretical PCHs calculated for the square of a Gaussian-Lorentzian beam profile. We demonstrate and discuss the influence of the average number of particles within the observation volume and the detected photon counts per molecule per sampling interval upon the super-Poissonian character of the photon counting distribution.  (+info)

(8/1168) Variability in the time course of single photon responses from toad rods: termination of rhodopsin's activity.

We examined the responses of toad rod photoreceptors to single photons of light. To minimize the effects of variability in the early rising phase, we selected sets of responses that closely matched the rise of the mean single photon response. Responses selected in this way showed substantial variations in kinetics, appearing to peel off from a common time course after different delays. Following incorporation of the calcium buffer BAPTA, the time to peeling off was retarded. Our analysis indicates that it is not necessary to invoke a long series of reaction steps to explain the shutoff of rhodopsin activity. Instead, our results suggest that the observed behavior is explicable by the presently known shutoff reactions of activated rhodopsin, modulated by feedback.  (+info)