In vivo calcium imaging of the aging and diseased brain

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008 Mar;35 Suppl 1:S99-106. doi: 10.1007/s00259-007-0709-6.


Purpose: Over the last decade, in vivo calcium imaging became a powerful tool for studying brain function. With the use of two-photon microscopy and modern labelling techniques, it allows functional studies of individual living cells, their processes and their interactions within neuronal networks. In vivo calcium imaging is even more important for studying the aged brain, which is hard to investigate in situ due to the fragility of neuronal tissue.

Methods: In this article, we give a brief overview of the techniques applicable to image aged rodent brain at cellular resolution.

Results: We use multicolor imaging to visualize specific cell types (neurons, astrocytes, microglia) as well as the autofluorescence of the "aging pigment" lipofuscin.

Conclusions: Further, we illustrate an approach for simultaneous imaging of cortical cells and senile plaques in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Dementia / metabolism*
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton / methods*
  • Rats


  • Calcium