Katerina Akassoglou, PhD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, explains the use of in vivo two-photon imaging for microglia visualization. Reporter mice with fluorescently labeled microglia are imaged with two-photon microscopy, which enables real-time visualization of microglia. This technique can be performed in anaesthetized animals with the implantation of a cranial window. Repeat imaging of the same animal longitudinally enables new information to be gathered that cannot be seen at a single timepoint, such as changes in the morphology of glial processes and turnover rates of dendritic spines. As anesthesia suppresses neuronal firing, two-photon microscopy is also being used in awake animals. Dr Akassoglou explains that by combining two-photon imaging with behavioral paradigms to evoke neuronal activity, we can advance our understanding of key cell-cell interactions in the brain and the dynamic responses of microglia to various stimuli in health and disease. This interview took place at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting 2022 in Nashville, TN.
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