A confocal fluorescence microscope was used to study the exocytotic secretory processes of mast cells in combination with an fluorescent molecular rotor, 9-(dicyanovinyl)julolidine (DCVJ). DCVJ is known to be an unique fluorescent dye which increases its quantum yield with decreasing intramolecular rotation. Here, DCVJ-loaded peritoneal rat mast cells were stimulated with compound 48/80 and their fluorescence images were compared with fluorescence calcium images of fluo-3-loaded mast cells. Subsequent to transient increases in intracellular free calcium ion concentration, DCVJ fluorescence increased dramatically in the cytoplasm and formed a ring-like structure around the nucleus, suggesting the possibility that the dye bound to the proteins composing the cytoskeletal architecture. Furthermore, the increases of DCVJ fluorescence intensities were mostly blocked in the presence of cytochalasin D (10 microM). However, fluo-3 fluorescence intensities still increased after addition of compound 48/80.
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