Third Harmonic Generation microscopy as a reliable diagnostic tool for evaluating lipid body modification during cell activation: the example of BV-2 microglia cells.

Research paper by E E Gavgiotaki, G G Filippidis, M M Kalognomou, A A AA Tsouko, I I Skordos, C C Fotakis, I I Athanassakis

Indexed on: 09 Dec '14Published on: 09 Dec '14Published in: Journal of Structural Biology


Nonlinear optical processes have found widespread applications in fields ranging from fundamental physics to biomedicine. In this study, we attempted to evaluate cell activation by using the Third Harmonic Generation (THG) imaging microscopy as a new diagnostic tool. The BV-2 microglia cell line with or without activation by lipopolysaccharide was chosen as a representative biological model. The results showed that THG imaging could discriminate between the control versus activated state of BV-2 cells not only as to THG signal intensity but also as to THG signal area, while verifying once more that the majority of the intracellular detected signal corresponds to lipid bodies. Since THG imaging is a real time, non-destructive modality and does not require any prior cell processing and staining, the results presented here provide an important tool for normal versus activated cell discrimination, which could be proved very useful in the study of inflammation.