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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2024 - 7 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 07

J Biophotonics


Behavioral dynamics of neuroprotective macrophage polarization in neuropathic pain observed by GHz femtosecond laser two-photon excitation microscopy.


He B, Wang W, Wen J, Zhang R, Lin W, Guo Y, Xu Y, Huser T, Wei X, Yang Z


Macrophage polarization in neurotoxic (M1) or neuroprotective (M2) phenotypes is known to play a significant role in neuropathic pain, but its behavioral dynamics and underlying mechanism remain largely unknown. Two-photon excitation microscopy (2PEM) is a promising functional imaging tool for investigating the mechanism of cellular behavior, as using near-infrared excitation wavelengths is less subjected to light scattering. However, the higher-order photobleaching effect in 2PEM can seriously hamper its applications to long-term live-cell studies. Here, we demonstrate a GHz femtosecond (fs) 2PEM that enables hours-long live-cell imaging of macrophage behavior with reduced higher-order photobleaching effect-by leveraging the repetition rate of fs pulses according to the fluorescence lifetime of fluorophores. Using this new functional 2PEM platform, we measure the polarization characteristics of macrophages, especially the long-term cellular behavior in efferocytosis, unveiling the dynamic mechanism of neuroprotective macrophage polarization in neuropathic pain. These efforts can create new opportunities for understanding long-term cellular dynamic behavior in neuropathic pain, as well as other neurobiological problems, and thus dissecting the underlying complex pathogenesis.