New optical microscopy technique unravels role of ‘oxidative stress’ in neural tissue

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Source: KurzweilAI, April 24, 2014

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Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) have developed a new optical microscopy technique to unravel the role of “oxidative stress” in healthy as well as injured nervous systems. The work is reported in the latest issue of Nature Medicine.

Reactive oxygen species are important intracellular signaling molecules, but their mode of action is complex. In low concentrations they regulate key aspects of cellular function and behavior, while at high concentrations they can cause “oxidative stress,” which damages organelles, membranes and DNA.

“Our new optical approach allows us to visualize the redox state of important cellular organelles, mitochondria, in real time in living tissue,” says LMU Professor Martin Kerschensteiner. Mitochondria are the cell’s power plants, which convert nutrients into usable energy.

In earlier studies, Kerschensteiner and and TUM Professor Thomas Misgeld obtained evidence that oxidative damage of mitochondria might…

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