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Neurophotonics. 2014 Jul;1(1):011004. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.1.1.011004. Epub 2014 May 29.

Single-cell imaging tools for brain energy metabolism: a review.

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Centro de Estudios Científicos , Arturo Prat 514, Valdivia, 5110466, Chile ; Universidad Austral de Chile , Valdivia, Chile.
Centro de Estudios Científicos , Arturo Prat 514, Valdivia, 5110466, Chile.


Neurophotonics comes to light at a time in which advances in microscopy and improved calcium reporters are paving the way toward high-resolution functional mapping of the brain. This review relates to a parallel revolution in metabolism. We argue that metabolism needs to be approached both in vitro and in vivo, and that it does not just exist as a low-level platform but is also a relevant player in information processing. In recent years, genetically encoded fluorescent nanosensors have been introduced to measure glucose, glutamate, ATP, NADH, lactate, and pyruvate in mammalian cells. Reporting relative metabolite levels, absolute concentrations, and metabolic fluxes, these sensors are instrumental for the discovery of new molecular mechanisms. Sensors continue to be developed, which together with a continued improvement in protein expression strategies and new imaging technologies, herald an exciting era of high-resolution characterization of metabolism in the brain and other organs.


Förster resonance energy transfer; glycolysis; membrane transport; metabolic flux; mitochondria; optogenetics

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