Two-photon excitation imaging of exocytosis and endocytosis and determination of their spatial organization

Haruo Kasai, Takuya Kishimoto, Tomomi Nemoto, Hiroyasu Hatakeyama, Ting Ting Liu, Noriko Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Two-photon excitation imaging is the least invasive optical approach to study living tissues. We have established two-photon extracellular polar-tracer (TEP) imaging with which it is possible to visualize and quantify all exocytic events in the plane of focus within secretory tissues. This technology also enables estimate of the precise diameters of vesicles independently of the spatial resolution of the optical microscope, and determination of the fusion pore dynamics at nanometer resolution using TEP-imaging based quantification (TEPIQ). TEP imaging has been applied to representative secretory glands, e.g., exocrine pancreas, endocrine pancreas, adrenal medulla and a pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12), and has revealed unexpected diversity in the spatial organization of exocytosis and endocytosis crucial for the physiology and pathology of secretory tissues and neurons. TEP imaging and TEPIQ analysis are powerful tools for elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of exocytosis and certain related diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, and the development of new therapeutic agents and diagnostic tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-877
Number of pages28
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct 31


  • Adrenal medulla
  • Chromaffin cell
  • Compound exocytosis
  • Exocrine gland
  • Insulin secretion
  • Pancreatic islet
  • Pheochromocytoma cell
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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