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Lasch, Manuel; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo; Heuvel, Domini van den; Götz, Philipp; Deindl, Elisabeth and Ishikawa-Ankerhold, Hellen (2021): Multiphoton Intravital Imaging for Monitoring Leukocyte Recruitment during Arteriogenesis in a Murine Hindlimb Model. In: Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments, No. 175, 62969

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Arteriogenesis strongly depends on leukocyte and platelet recruitment to the perivascular space of growing collateral vessels. The standard approach for analyzing collateral arteries and leukocytes in arteriogenesis is ex vivo (immuno-) histological methodology. However, this technique does not allow the measurement of dynamic processes such as blood flow, shear stress, cell-cell interactions, and particle velocity. This paper presents a protocol to monitor in vivo processes in growing collateral arteries during arteriogenesis utilizing intravital imaging. The method described here is a reliable tool for dynamics measurement and offers a high-contrast analysis with minimal photo-cytotoxicity, provided by multiphoton excitation microscopy. Prior to analyzing growing collateral arteries, arteriogenesis was induced in the adductor muscle of mice by unilateral ligation of the femoral artery. After the ligation, the preexisting collateral arteries started to grow due to increased shear stress. Twenty-four hours after surgery, the skin and subcutaneous fat above the collateral arteries were removed, constructing a pocket for further analyses. To visualize blood flow and immune cells during in vivo imaging, CD41-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) (platelets) and CD45-phycoerythrin (PE) (leukocytes) antibodies were injected intravenously (i.v.) via a catheter placed in the tail vein of a mouse. This article introduces intravital multiphoton imaging as an alternative or in vivo complementation to the commonly used static ex vivo (immuno-) histological analyses to study processes relevant for arteriogenesis. In summary, this paper describes a novel and dynamic in vivo method to investigate immune cell trafficking, blood flow, and shear stress in a hindlimb model of arteriogenesis, which enhances evaluation possibilities notably.

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