In Vivo Fluorescence Imaging of Large-Vessel Thrombosis in Mice
Objective—Experimental studies of large-vessel thrombosis have been adapted for applications in mice, but they proffer limited quantifiable information in outcome measures. This study presents a novel approach for evaluating large-vessel thrombogenesis with temporally/spatially quantifiable measures and normalization methods for interanimal comparisons.
Methods and Results—Shuttered, beam-expanded lasers provided uniform narrow-wavelength illumination of a ×100 microsurgical field with a large depth of focus. Thrombosis was generated in murine carotid arteries and femoral veins by brief vascular surface electrolytic injury. Thrombus-targeting fluorophores were injected systemically and subsequently localized at the site of thrombus induction. A low-light digital video camera with filter wheel provided target-specific image acquisition over a 60-minute interval. Platelets accumulated with a subsequent fibrin border emerging to stabilize the clot in both arteries and veins. Coagulation enzyme complexes colocalized with fibrin deposition. Large arteries underwent cyclic massive thromboembolization, whereas veins showed gradual shedding of microemboli and clot contraction. Systemic administration of fibrin- and platelet-inhibiting compounds reduced their respective targets but also often inhibited their clotting counterparts (platelets and fibrin, respectively) in both arteries and veins.
Conclusion—Intermediate-level magnified image capture represents a novel approach for analysis of fluorescence-based in vivo imaging, with quantitative application to the study of large-vessel thrombosis.
- Received December 27, 2010.
- Accepted February 23, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.