Methamphetamine-induced apoptosis in glial cells examined under marker-free imaging modalities

J Biomed Opt. 2019 Apr;24(4):1-10. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.24.4.046503.


We used phase microscopy and Raman spectroscopic measurements to assess the response of in vitro rat C6 glial cells following methamphetamine treatment in real time. Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) and three-dimensional (3-D) tomographic nanoscopy allow measurements of live cell cultures, which yield information about cell volume changes. Tomographic phase imaging provides 3-D information about the refractive index distribution associated with the morphology of biological samples. DHM provides similar information, but for a larger population of cells. Morphological changes in cells are associated with alterations in cell cycle and initiation of cell death mechanisms. Raman spectroscopy measurements provide information about chemical changes within the cells. Our Raman data indicate that the chemical changes in proteins preceded morphological changes, which were seen with DHM. Our study also emphasizes that tomographic phase imaging, DHM, and Raman spectroscopy are imaging tools that can be utilized for noninvasive simultaneous monitoring of morphological and chemical changes in cells during apoptosis and can also be used to monitor other dynamic cell processes.

Keywords: Raman spectroscopy; apoptosis; digital holographic microscopy; live cell imaging; phase imaging; phase reconstruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Equipment Design
  • Holography / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neuroglia / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman


  • Methamphetamine