Properties of the new fluorescent Na+ indicator CoroNa Green: comparison with SBFI and confocal Na+ imaging

J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Sep 15;155(2):251-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.01.009. Epub 2006 Feb 20.


Neuronal activity causes substantial Na+ transients in fine cellular processes such as dendrites and spines. The physiological consequences of such Na+ transients are still largely unknown. High-resolution Na+ imaging is pivotal to study these questions, and, up to now, two-photon imaging with the fluorescent Na+ indicator sodium-binding benzofuran isophthalate (SBFI) has been the primary method of choice. Recently, a new Na+ indicator dye, CoroNa Green (CoroNa), that has its absorbance maximum at 492 nm, has become available. In the present study, we have compared the properties of SBFI with those of CoroNa by performing Na+ measurements in neurons of hippocampal slices. We show that CoroNa is suitable for measurement of Na+ transients using non-confocal wide-field imaging with a CCD camera. However, substantial transmembrane dye leakage and lower Na+ sensitivity are clearly disadvantages when compared to SBFI. We also tested CoroNa for its suitability for high-resolution imaging of Na+ transients using a confocal laser scanning system. We demonstrate that CoroNa, in contrast to SBFI, can be employed for confocal imaging using a conventional argon laser and report the first Na+ measurements in dendrites using this dye. In conclusion, CoroNa may prove to be a valuable tool for confocal Na+ imaging in fine cellular processes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Benzofurans / metabolism*
  • Calibration
  • Ethers, Cyclic / metabolism*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indicators and Reagents / metabolism*
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / pharmacology


  • Benzofurans
  • Ethers, Cyclic
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • sodium-binding benzofuran isophthalate
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid
  • Sodium
  • Potassium