Uniform polarity microtubule assemblies imaged in native brain tissue by second-harmonic generation microscopy

Daniel A. Dombeck, Karl A. Kasischke, Harshad D. Vishwasrao, Martin Ingelsson, Bradley T. Hyman, Watt W. Webb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microtubule (MT) ensemble polarity is a diagnostic determinant of the structure and function of neuronal processes. Here, polarized MT structures are selectively imaged with second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy in native brain tissue. This SHG is found to colocalize with axons in both brain slices and cultured neurons. Because SHG arises only from noninversion symmetric structures, the uniform polarity of axonal MTs leads to the observed signal, whereas the mixed polarity in dendrites leads to destructive interference. SHG imaging provides a tool to investigate the kinetics and function of MT ensemble polarity in dynamic native brain tissue structures and other subcellular motility structures based on polarized MTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7081-7086
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume100
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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