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J Histochem Cytochem. 1996 Dec;44(12):1363-72.

Analysis of mitochondrial morphology and function with novel fixable fluorescent stains.

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Molecular Probes, Inc., Eugene, Oregon 97402, USA.


Investigation of mitochondrial morphology and function has been hampered because photostable, mitochondrion-specific stains that are retained in fixed, permeabilized cells have not been available. We found that in live cell preparations, the CMXRos and H2-CMXRos dyes were more photostable than rhodamine 123. In addition, fluorescence and morphology of mitochondria stained with the CMXRos and CMXRos-H2 dyes were preserved even after formaldehyde fixation and acetone permeabilization. Using epifluorescence microscopy, we showed that CMXRos and H2-CMXRos dye fluorescence fully co-localized with antibodies to subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase, indicating that the dyes specifically stain mitochondria. Confocal microscopy of these mitochondria yielded colored banding patterns, suggesting that these dyes and the mitochondrial enzyme localize to different suborganellar regions. Therefore, these stains provide powerful tools for detailed analysis of mitochondrial fine structure. We also used poisons that decrease mitochondrial membrane potential and an inhibitor of respiration complex II to show by flow cytometry that the fluorescence intensity of CMXRos and H2-CMXRos dye staining responds to changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and function. Hence, CMXRos has the potential to monitor changes in mitochondrial function. In addition, CMXRos staining was used in conjunction with spectrally distinct fluorescent probes for the cell nucleus and the microtubule network to concomitantly evaluate multiple features of cell morphology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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