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Imaging a target of Ca2+ signalling: Dense core granule exocytosis viewed by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy

By Magalie A. Ravier, Takashi Tsuboi and Guy A. Rutter


Ca2+ ions are the most ubiquitous second messenger found in all cells, and play a significant role in controlling regulated secretion from neurons, endocrine, neuroendocrine and exocrine cells. Here, we describe microscopic techniques to image regulated secretion, a target of Ca2+ signalling. The first of these, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF), is well suited for optical sectioning at cell–substrate regions with an unusually thin region of fluorescence excitation (<150 nm). It is thus particularly useful for studies of regulated hormone secretion. A brief summary of this approach is provided, as well as a description of the physical basis for the technique and the tools to implement TIRF using a standard fluorescence microscope. We also detail the different fluorescent probes which can be used to detect secretion and how to analyze the data obtained. A comparison between TIRF and other imaging modalities including confocal and multiphoton microscopy is also included

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Publisher: Academic Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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