Single-cell imaging tools for brain energy metabolism: a review

Alejandro San Martín, Tamara Sotelo-Hitschfeld, Rodrigo Lerchundi, Ignacio Fernández-Moncada, Sebastian Ceballo, Rocío Valdebenito, Felipe Baeza-Lehnert, Karin Alegría, Yasna Contreras-Baeza, Pamela Garrido-Gerter, Ignacio Romero-Gómez, L. Felipe Barros
Neurophoton. 2014-06-12; 1(1): 011004
DOI: 10.1117/1.nph.1.1.011004

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Neurophotonics comes to light at a time in which advances in microscopy and
improved calcium reporters are paving the way toward high-resolution functional
mapping of the brain. This review relates to a parallel revolution in metabolism.
We argue that metabolism needs to be approached both in vitro and in vivo, and
that it does not just exist as a low-level platform but is also a relevant player
in information processing. In recent years, genetically encoded fluorescent
nanosensors have been introduced to measure glucose, glutamate, ATP, NADH,
lactate, and pyruvate in mammalian cells. Reporting relative metabolite levels,
absolute concentrations, and metabolic fluxes, these sensors are instrumental for
the discovery of new molecular mechanisms. Sensors continue to be developed,
which together with a continued improvement in protein expression strategies and
new imaging technologies, herald an exciting era of high-resolution
characterization of metabolism in the brain and other organs.


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