Rapid fluorescent vital imaging of olfactory epithelium

iScience. 2022 Apr 8;25(5):104222. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104222. eCollection 2022 May 20.


Olfactory epithelium (OE) undergoes degeneration in disorders such as age-related and post-viral olfactory dysfunction. However, methods for real-time in vivo detection of OE and assessment of total extent within the nasal cavity are currently unavailable. We identified two fluorescence probes for rapidly detecting and evaluating the entire extent of mice OE with topical application. Taking advantage of the differential expression of the enzymes cytochrome p450 (CYP) and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) in OE relative to respiratory epithelium, we utilized the conversion of coumarin (a substrate of various CYP subtypes) and gGlu-HRMG (a substrate of GGT) by these enzymes to form metabolites with fluorescent emissions in the duct cells and sustentacular cells of neuron-containing OE. In depleted and regenerated OE model, the emission of these probes remained absent in respiratory metaplasia but appeared in regenerated OE. These substrates could be used to monitor OE degeneration and follow regenerative response to therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: Biochemistry; Biological sciences; Biological sciences research methodologies; Medical imaging.