Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) has gained popularity as a sensitive technique to monitor the functional/conformational states of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), one of the main compounds of oxidative phosphorylation. In this letter, we apply the technique to characterize the metabolic changes in mouse embryonic fibroblast 3T3 cells upon bacterial infection. A gradual shortening of the decaying time constants in both the short and the long lifetime components of NADH's autofluorescence is detected. The ratio of the short and the long lifetime components' relative contributions, however, shows a rapid increase, indicating the rise of cellular metabolic activity over the course of infection.
© 2010 Chinese Optics LettersPDF Article