Intravital imaging of the kidney

Methods. 2017 Sep 1;128:33-39. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2017.03.024. Epub 2017 Apr 12.


Two-photon intravital microscopy is a powerful tool that allows the examination of dynamic cellular processes in the live animal with unprecedented resolution. Indeed, it offers the ability to address unique biological questions that may not be solved by other means. While two-photon intravital microscopy has been successfully applied to study many organs, the kidney presents its own unique challenges that need to be overcome in order to optimize and validate imaging data. For kidney imaging, the complexity of renal architecture and salient autofluorescence merit special considerations as these elements directly impact image acquisition and data interpretation. Here, using illustrative cases, we provide practical guides and discuss issues that may arise during two-photon live imaging of the rodent kidney.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Intravital Microscopy / methods*
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton / methods*
  • Time-Lapse Imaging / methods*


  • Fluorescent Dyes