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Voltage-sensitive rhodol with enhanced two-photon brightness.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 03 14;114(11):2813-2818

Authors: Kulkarni RU, Kramer DJ, Pourmandi N, Karbasi K, Bateup HS, Miller EW

We have designed, synthesized, and applied a rhodol-based chromophore to a molecular wire-based platform for voltage sensing to achieve fast, sensitive, and bright voltage sensing using two-photon (2P) illumination. Rhodol VoltageFluor-5 (RVF5) is a voltage-sensitive dye with improved 2P cross-section for use in thick tissue or brain samples. RVF5 features a dichlororhodol core with pyrrolidyl substitution at the nitrogen center. In mammalian cells under one-photon (1P) illumination, RVF5 demonstrates high voltage sensitivity (28% ΔF/F per 100 mV) and improved photostability relative to first-generation voltage sensors. This photostability enables multisite optical recordings from neurons lacking tuberous sclerosis complex 1, Tsc1, in a mouse model of genetic epilepsy. Using RVF5, we show that Tsc1 KO neurons exhibit increased activity relative to wild-type neurons and additionally show that the proportion of active neurons in the network increases with the loss of Tsc1. The high photostability and voltage sensitivity of RVF5 is recapitulated under 2P illumination. Finally, the ability to chemically tune the 2P absorption profile through the use of rhodol scaffolds affords the unique opportunity to image neuronal voltage changes in acutely prepared mouse brain slices using 2P illumination. Stimulation of the mouse hippocampus evoked spiking activity that was readily discerned with bath-applied RVF5, demonstrating the utility of RVF5 and molecular wire-based voltage sensors with 2P-optimized fluorophores for imaging voltage in intact brain tissue.

PMID: 28242676 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]