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Biochemistry. 1989 May 30;28(11):4536-9.

Dual-wavelength ratiometric fluorescence measurements of membrane potential.

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Department of Physiology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06032.


This work shows that the voltage across membranes in two very different preparations, lipid vesicles in suspension and individual HeLa cells under a microscope, is linearly related to the ratio of fluorescence excited from the two wings of the absorption spectrum of a voltage-sensitive dye. The dye di-4-ANEPPS [1-(3-sulfonatopropyl)-4-[beta-[2-(di-n-butylamino)-6-naphthyl] vin yl]pyridinium betaine] is well characterized from earlier investigations and responds via a rapid (less than millisecond) spectral shift to membrane potential changes. The resultant small change in fluorescence intensity monitored at a single wavelength is useful for measurements of temporally well-defined voltage transients such as action potentials. The dual-wavelength approach described in this work extends the usefulness of this fast potentiometric dye by filtering out complex or artifactual changes in fluorescence intensity and providing a voltage-dependent signal that is internally standardized. Thus, rapid measurements of membrane potential are made possible in nonexcitable cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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