Intravital Microscopy for Atherosclerosis Research

Remco T A Megens*, Oliver Soehnlein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recruitment of leukocytes into arteries is a hallmark event throughout all stages of atherosclerosis and hence stands out as a primary therapeutic target. To understand the molecular mechanisms of arterial leukocyte subset infiltration, real-time visualization of recruitment processes of leukocyte subsets at high resolution is a prerequisite. In this review we provide a balanced overview of optical imaging modalities in the more commonly used experimental models for atherosclerosis (e.g., mouse models) allowing for in vivo display of recruitment processes in large arteries and further detail strategies to overcome hurdles inherent to arterial imaging. We further provide a synopsis of techniques allowing for non-toxic, photostable labeling of target structures. Finally, we deliver a short summary of ongoing developments including the emergence of novel labeling approaches, the use of superresolution microscopy, and the potentials of opto-acoustic microscopy and intravascular 2-dimensional near-infrared fluorescence microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Animals
  • Arteries
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Inflammation
  • Intravital Microscopy
  • Leukocytes
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Optical Imaging
  • Photoacoustic Techniques
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Time Factors


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