Disruptions and alterations to cerebral energy metabolism play a vital role in the onset and progression of many neurodegenerative disorders and cerebral pathologies. In order to precisely understand the complex alterations underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression, in vivo imaging at the microscopic level is required in preclinical animal models. Utilizing two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and the phasor analysis method, we have observed AD-related variations of endogenous fluorescence of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) in vivo. We collected NADH FLIM images from the cerebral cortices of both APPswe:PS1dE9 mice to model amyloid β plaque accumulation and corresponding age-matched wildtype controls. Distinct variations in NADH fluorescence lifetime between wildtype and AD mice, as well as variations related to proximity from amyloid plaques, are obvervable via the phasor method. The combination of NADH FLIM and phasor analysis allows for a minimally invasive, high-resolution technique to characterize the adverse effects of amyloid β accumulation on mitochondrial energy metabolism and could guide our understanding of preclinical AD pathology.
Gómez, C. A. (2018). Cerebral metabolism in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease characterized by two-photon fluorescence lifetime microscopy of intrinsic NADH. Neurophotonics, 5(04), 1. https://doi.org/10.1117/1.nph.5.4.045008