ACS applied materials & interfaces

Multiscale Imaging of Brown Adipose Tissue in Living Mice/Rats with Fluorescent Polymer Dots.

PMID 29893119


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has been identified as a promising target for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, and relevant metabolism disorders because of the adaptive thermogenesis ability of this tissue. Visualizing BAT may provide an essential tool for pathology study, drug screening, and efficacy evaluation. Owing to limitations of current nuclear and magnetic resonance imaging approaches for BAT detection, fluorescence imaging has advantages in large-scale preclinical research on small animals. Here, fast BAT imaging in mice is conducted based on polymer dots as fluorescent probes. As early as 5 min after the intravenous injection of polymer dots, extensive fluorescence is detected in the interscapular BAT and axillar BAT. In addition, axillar and inguinal white adipose tissues (WAT) are recognized. The real-time in vivo behavior of polymer dots in rodents is monitored using the probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy imaging, and the preferred accumulation in BAT over WAT is confirmed by histological assays. Moreover, the whole study is conducted without a low temperature or pharmaceutical stimulation. The imaging efficacy is verified at the cellular, histological, and whole-body levels, and the present results indicate that fluorescent polymer dots may be a promising tool for the visualization of BAT in living subjects.

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2,3-Naphthalocyanine, Dye content 95 %