Real-Time intravital imaging of pH variation associated with osteoclast activity

Hiroki Maeda, Toshiyuki Kowada, Junichi Kikuta, Masayuki Furuya, Mai Shirazaki, Shin Mizukami, Masaru Ishii, Kazuya Kikuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Intravital imaging by two-photon excitation microscopy (TPEM) has been widely used to visualize cell functions. However, small molecular probes (SMPs), commonly used for cell imaging, cannot be simply applied to intravital imaging because of the challenge of delivering them into target tissues, as well as their undesirable physicochemical properties for TPEM imaging. Here, we designed and developed a functional SMP with an active-Targeting moiety, higher photostability, and a fluorescence switch and then imaged target cell activity by injecting the SMP into living mice. The combination of the rationally designed SMP with a fluorescent protein as a reporter of cell localization enabled quantitation of osteoclast activity and time-lapse imaging of its in vivo function associated with changes in cell deformation and membrane fluctuations. Real-Time imaging revealed heterogenic behaviors of osteoclasts in vivo and provided insights into the mechanism of bone resorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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