"Fluorescent glycogen" formation with sensibility for in vivo and in vitro detection

Glycoconj J. 2008 Aug;25(6):503-10. doi: 10.1007/s10719-007-9075-7. Epub 2007 Nov 1.


There are presently many methods of detecting complex carbohydrates, and particularly glycogen. However most of them require radioisotopes or destruction of the tissue and hydrolysis of glycogen to glucose. Here we present a new method based on the incorporation of 2-NBDG (2-{N-[7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazol 4-yl] amino}-2-deoxyglucose), a D-glucose fluorescent derivative, into glycogen. Two kinds of approaches were carried out by using Clone 9 rat hepatocytes as a cellular model; (1) Incubation of cell lysates with 2-NBDG, carbohydrate precipitation in filters and measurement of fluorescence in a microplate reader (2) Incubation of living hepatocytes with 2-NBDG and recording of fluorescence images by confocal microscopy. 2-NBDG labeled glycogen in both approaches. We confirmed this fact by comparison to the labeling obtained with a specific monoclonal anti-glycogen antibody. Also drugs that trigger glycogen synthesis or degradation induced an increase or decrease of fluorescence, respectively. This is a simple but efficient method of detecting glycogen with 2-NBDG. It could be used to record changes in glycogen stores in living cells and cell-free systems and opens the prospect of understanding the role of this important energy reserve under various physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4-Chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan / analogs & derivatives*
  • 4-Chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan / analysis
  • 4-Chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / chemistry
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell-Free System
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxyglucose / analysis
  • Deoxyglucose / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / analysis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Glycogen / analysis*
  • Glycogen / chemistry
  • Glycogen / immunology
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Molecular Structure
  • Rats


  • Antibodies
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Glycogen
  • Deoxyglucose
  • 4-Chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan
  • 2-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)-2-deoxyglucose