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Cell Calcium. 1992 Aug;13(8):473-86.

A novel principle for quantitation of fast intracellular calcium changes using Fura-2 and a modified image processing system--applications in studies of neutrophil motility and phagocytosis.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Linköping, Sweden.


A new principle is described for imaging intracellular free calcium [Ca2+]i changes in single, living cells utilizing the fluorescent probe Fura-2. It is based upon video color mixing in real time and allows high-speed visualization, at maximum image resolution, of [Ca2+]i changes without digital image ratioing. The epifluorescence images produced by 340 and 380 nm excitations are stored in two memory buffers of a personal computer-based image processing system. Two video signals are generated independently from each buffer and connected to the red and green inputs of a video display. An image is this way created, in which [Ca2+]i shows up as a specific hue, whereas changes in dye concentration, light intensity, cell thickness show up as variations in brightness of the imaged cells. The method has advantages over conventional ratio imaging, notably simplicity and speed, since no calculations are made. Yet it can be combined with traditional digital image processing. The imaging technique allows monitoring of [Ca2+]i changes in rapidly moving cells, like neutrophils. It is demonstrated that during random locomotion on serum-coated glass surfaces, [Ca2+]i levels appeared to oscillate and that the frequency of the oscillations are related to locomotive activity. Furthermore, in Ca2+ free medium, the cells continue to move and phagocytose in the presence of Ca2+ ionophore (ionomycin) and 2 mM EGTA. In the presence of 1 mM extracellular Ca2+, ionomycin-treated cells were not able to move or phagocytose.

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