Abstract

A time-resolved spectroscopic imaging system is built to study the fluorescence characteristics of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), an important metabolic coenzyme and endogenous fluorophore in cells. The system provides a unique approach to measure fluorescence signals in different cellular organelles and cytoplasm. The ratios of free over protein-bound NADH signals in cytosol and nucleus are slightly higher than those in mitochondria. The mitochondrial fluorescence contributes about 70% of overall cellular fluorescence and is not a completely dominant signal. Furthermore, NADH signals in mitochondria, cytosol, and the nucleus respond to the changes of cellular activity differently, suggesting that cytosolic and nuclear fluorescence may complicate the well-known relationship between mitochondrial fluorescence and cellular metabolism.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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