Synergistic Strategy for Multicolor Two-photon Microscopy: Application to the Analysis of Germinal Center Reactions In Vivo

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 2;7(1):7101. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07165-0.


Simultaneous detection of multiple cellular and molecular players in their native environment, one of the keys to a full understanding of immune processes, remains challenging for in vivo microscopy. Here, we present a synergistic strategy for spectrally multiplexed in vivo imaging composed of (i) triple two-photon excitation using spatiotemporal synchronization of two femtosecond lasers, (ii) a broad set of fluorophores with emission ranging from blue to near infrared, (iii) an effective spectral unmixing algorithm. Using our approach, we simultaneously excite and detect seven fluorophores expressed in distinct cellular and tissue compartments, plus second harmonics generation from collagen fibers in lymph nodes. This enables us to visualize the dynamic interplay of all the central cellular players during germinal center reactions. While current in vivo imaging typically enables recording the dynamics of 4 tissue components at a time, our strategy allows a more comprehensive analysis of cellular dynamics involving 8 single-labeled compartments. It enables to investigate the orchestration of multiple cellular subsets determining tissue function, thus, opening the way for a mechanistic understanding of complex pathophysiologic processes in vivo. In the future, the design of transgenic mice combining a larger spectrum of fluorescent proteins will reveal the full potential of our method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton* / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton* / methods
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / metabolism