Improved measurements of intracellular nitric oxide in intact microvessels using 4,5-diaminofluorescein diacetate

Xueping Zhou, Pingnian He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


4,5-Diaminofluorescein diacetate (DAF-2 DA) has been widely used for the measurement of nitric oxide (NO) in living cells and tissues. We previously established a method that demonstrated platelet activating factor (PAF)-induced endothelial NO production in intact venules using DAF-2 DA. In previous applications, the loading dye was removed from the extracellular space before NO measurements. However, in high permeability vessels, endothelial cells quickly released the accumulated intracellular DAF-2 after the washout, which compromises the NO measurement. The objective of this study was to investigate if the presence of DAF-2 DA during NO measurements could overcome the dye retention problem and enhance the sensitivity of NO detection. Experiments were conducted in individually perfused rat venules, and endothelial NO was measured using fluorescence imaging under basal and stimulated conditions with continuous perfusion of DAF-2 DA. Continuous dye perfusion was found to promote a relatively constant endothelial dye concentration in both normal and high permeability vessels throughout the experiment. With the use of this method, the basal and stimulated NO was quantified after endothelial DAF-2 concentrations reached a steady state. Our results showed enhanced sensitivity of detecting PAFstimulated NO compared with a previous method. We also found that the hydrolyzed intracellular DAF-2, the precursor of DAF-2 triazole, contributed significantly to the measured fluorescence and that an appropriate subtraction of non-NO-dependent intracellular DAF-2 fluorescence is critical for the assessment of NO in living tissues. This method overcame the dye leakage problem, enhanced the sensitivity of NO detection, and improved NO quantification, demonstrating significant advantages over existing methodologies using DAF-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H108-H114
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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