An artery-specific fluorescent dye for studying neurovascular coupling

Nat Methods. 2012 Jan 22;9(3):273-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1857.


We demonstrate that Alexa Fluor 633 hydrazide (Alexa Fluor 633) selectively labels neocortical arteries and arterioles by binding to elastin fibers. We measured sensory stimulus-evoked arteriole dilation dynamics in mouse, rat and cat visual cortex using Alexa Fluor 633 together with neuronal activity using calcium indicators or blood flow using fluorescein dextran. Arteriole dilation decreased fluorescence recorded from immediately underlying neurons, representing a potential artifact during neuronal functional imaging experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Arteries / cytology*
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton / methods*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging / methods*


  • Fluorescent Dyes