The accumulation of lipids in non-adipose tissues is attracting increasing attention due to its correlation with obesity. In muscle tissue, ectopic deposition of specific lipids is further correlated with pathogenic development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Most intramyocellular lipids are organized into lipid droplets (LDs), which are metabolically active organelles. In order to better understand the putative role of LDs in pathogenesis, insight into both the location of LDs and nearby chemistry of muscle tissue is very useful. Here, we demonstrate the use of label-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy in combination with multivariate, chemometric analysis to visualize intracellular lipid accumulations in ex vivo muscle tissue. Consistent with our previous results, hyperspectral CARS microscopy showed an increase in LDs in tissues where LD proteins were overexpressed, and further chemometric analysis showed additional features morphologically (and chemically) similar to mitochondria that colocalized with LDs. CARS imaging is shown to be a very useful method for label-free stratification of ectopic fat deposition and cellular organelles in fresh tissue sections with virtually no sample preparation.
Billecke, N., Rago, G., Bosma, M., Eijkel, G., Gemmink, A., Leproux, P., Huss, G., Schrauwen, P., Hesselink, M. K., Bonn, M., & Parekh, S. H. (2014). Chemical imaging of lipid droplets in muscle tissues using hyperspectral coherent Raman microscopy. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 141(3), 263-273. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00418-013-1161-2