In Vivo Imaging of Flavoprotein Fluorescence During Hypoxia Reveals the Importance of Direct Arterial Oxygen Supply to Cerebral Cortex Tissue.
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Live imaging of mitochondrial function is crucial to understand the important role played by these organelles in a wide range of diseases. The mitochondrial redox potential is a particularly informative measure of mitochondrial function, and can be monitored using the endogenous green fluorescence of oxidized mitochondrial flavoproteins. Here, we have observed flavoprotein fluorescence in the exposed murine cerebral cortex in vivo using confocal imaging; the mitochondrial origin of the signal was confirmed using agents known to manipulate mitochondrial redox potential. The effects of cerebral oxygenation on flavoprotein fluorescence were determined by manipulating the inspired oxygen concentration. We report that flavoprotein fluorescence is sensitive to reductions in cortical oxygenation, such that reductions in inspired oxygen resulted in loss of flavoprotein fluorescence with the exception of a preserved 'halo' of signal in periarterial regions. The findings are consistent with reports that arteries play an important role in supplying oxygen directly to tissue in the cerebral cortex, maintaining mitochondrial function.