Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Res. 2011 Sep;21(9):1295-304. doi: 10.1038/cr.2011.81. Epub 2011 May 10.

Imaging superoxide flash and metabolism-coupled mitochondrial permeability transition in living animals.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Molecular Medicine, College of Life Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


The mitochondrion is essential for energy metabolism and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In intact cells, respiratory mitochondria exhibit spontaneous "superoxide flashes", the quantal ROS-producing events consequential to transient mitochondrial permeability transition (tMPT). Here we perform the first in vivo imaging of mitochondrial superoxide flashes and tMPT activity in living mice expressing the superoxide biosensor mt-cpYFP, and demonstrate their coupling to whole-body glucose metabolism. Robust tMPT/superoxide flash activity occurred in skeletal muscle and sciatic nerve of anesthetized transgenic mice. In skeletal muscle, imaging tMPT/superoxide flashes revealed labyrinthine three-dimensional networks of mitochondria that operate synchronously. The tMPT/superoxide flash activity surged in response to systemic glucose challenge or insulin stimulation, in an apparently frequency-modulated manner and involving also a shift in the gating mode of tMPT. Thus, in vivo imaging of tMPT-dependent mitochondrial ROS signals and the discovery of the metabolism-tMPT-superoxide flash coupling mark important technological and conceptual advances for the study of mitochondrial function and ROS signaling in health and disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center