Research press release


Nature Methods

Peering deep into the lung

画像化が極めて困難な臓器であるマウスの肺をin vivoで画像化する方法が、Nature Methods(電子版)に発表される。肺、あるいはほかの臓器を、正常な機能への影響を最小限にしながら画像化することができるようになったことで、生理および疾患のさまざまな側面を深く調べることが可能になると考えられる。



M Krummelたちは、新旧の技術を駆使して生きたマウスの肺を画像化し、しかも正常な生理機能を妨げずにそれを行った。研究チームは、二光子顕微鏡法により、肺の毛細管内を移動する免疫細胞を観察した。

In vivo imaging of the mouse lung ― a very challenging organ to image ― is reported this week in Nature Methods. Being able to image the lung, and possibly other organs, with a minimum disruption of normal function, should enable scientists to look deeper into many aspects of physiology and disease.

Imaging tissues or organs is ideally done within the living organism and as noninvasively as possible. But there are many challenges. Light is absorbed and scattered as it passes through tissue, degrading image quality. Furthermore, even anesthetized animals have a pulse and respiratory movements, complicating the imaging of dynamic processes. Many of these problems are exacerbated in the lung.

Yet the lung is the site of several important functions. It is a major location at which the internal milieu of the body encounters the environment, by way of inhaled air and its attendant toxins and pathogens. Both for respiration and immune function, the lung vasculature is in constant and relatively intimate contact with inhaled air.

Matthew Krummel and colleagues combine a series of classical and cutting-edge techniques to image the lung in the living mouse, and to do so without disrupting its normal physiology. Using two photon microscopy, they watch immune cells moving within the lung capillaries.

doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1543

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