In Vivo Two-Photon Microscopy of Single Nerve Endings in Skin.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

PubMedID: 25178088

Yuryev M, Molotkov D, Khiroug L. In Vivo Two-Photon Microscopy of Single Nerve Endings in Skin. J Vis Exp. 2014;(90):.
Nerve endings in skin are involved in physiological processes such as sensing(1) as well as in pathological processes such as neuropathic pain(2). Their close-to-surface positioning facilitates microscopic imaging of skin nerve endings in living intact animal. Using multiphoton microscopy, it is possible to obtain fine images overcoming the problem of strong light scattering of the skin tissue. Reporter transgenic mice that express EYFP under the control of Thy-1 promoter in neurons (including periphery sensory neurons) are well suited for the longitudinal studies of individual nerve endings over extended periods of time up to several months or even life-long. Furthermore, using the same femtosecond laser as for the imaging, it is possible to produce highly selective lesions of nerve fibers for the studies of the nerve fiber restructuring. Here, we present a simple and reliable protocol for longitudinal multiphoton in vivo imaging and laser-based microsurgery on mouse skin nerve endings.