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Am J Transplant. 2011 Oct;11(10):2067-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03671.x. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Multiphoton intravital microscopy of the transplanted mouse kidney.

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Surgery Pathology Medicine Immunology, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Graft outcomes after kidney transplantation continue to be adversely affected by ischemia-reperfusion injury and rejection. High-resolution, real-time imaging of the transplanted kidney could shed valuable insights into these dynamic processes, but such methodology has not been established. Here we describe a technique for intravital imaging of the transplanted mouse kidney using multiphoton fluorescence microscopy. The technique enabled real-time, high-resolution imaging and quantitation of renal filtration, cell death, leukocyte adhesion and capillary blood flow after transplantation. Using this technique, we found that brief graft ischemia associated with the transplantation procedure led to a rapid decline in renal filtration accompanied by a significant increase in microvascular leakage and renal tubular epithelial cell death within the first 3 h after transplantation. No significant changes in leukocyte adhesion or capillary blood flow were observed during the same time period. This report establishes multiphoton fluorescence microscopy as a sensitive tool for simultaneously studying functional and structural perturbations that occur in the mouse kidney after transplantation and for investigating the migration of leukocytes to the graft.

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