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Sci Rep. 2014 Oct 10;4:6588. doi: 10.1038/srep06588.

Optimization of Evans blue quantitation in limited rat tissue samples.

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Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan.
1] Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan [2] Translational Medicine Research Center, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan.


Evans blue dye (EBD) is an inert tracer that measures plasma volume in human subjects and vascular permeability in animal models. Quantitation of EBD can be difficult when dye concentration in the sample is limited, such as when extravasated dye is measured in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) intact brain. The procedure described here used a very small volume (30 µl) per sample replicate, which enabled high-throughput measurements of the EBD concentration based on a standard 96-well plate reader. First, ethanol ensured a consistent optic path length in each well and substantially enhanced the sensitivity of EBD fluorescence spectroscopy. Second, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) removed false-positive EBD measurements as a result of biological solutes and partially extracted EBD into the supernatant. Moreover, a 1:2 volume ratio of 50% TCA ([TCA final] = 33.3%) optimally extracted EBD from the rat plasma protein-EBD complex in vitro and in vivo, and 1:2 and 1:3 weight-volume ratios of 50% TCA optimally extracted extravasated EBD from the rat brain and liver, respectively, in vivo. This procedure is particularly useful in the detection of EBD extravasation into the BBB-intact brain, but it can also be applied to detect dye extravasation into tissues where vascular permeability is less limiting.

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