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Journal Cover Image Success - December 2023

Image description

Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) is the electrical potential difference across the inner mitochondrial membrane and is essential to the metabolic state of the cell. Our research shows that Thioflavin T (ThT) can act as a MMP indicator in mammalian cells, when used at low concentrations and with low blue-light exposure. However, this dye can also disrupt MMP depending additively on its concentration and blue light exposure.

The image shows a group of cancer cells that have been co-stained with ThT (blue) and TMRM (magenta), a known MMP indicator. The left half of the image has been exposed to blue confocal laser light which leads to a loss in TMRM signal (loss in mitochondrial membrane potential) and a redistribution of ThT signal.

Confocal image of HeLa cells co-stained with Thioflavin T (ThT) (5uM, false colored in blue) and TMRM (25nM, false colored in magenta). Cells were seeded at a density of 2x10^5 and imaged. Cells on the left half of the field of view were imaged at 15sec intervals for 20 minutes with both blue (405nm) and red (561nm) light, while cells on the right half of the image were only imaged at the end of that time. The photoactivation of ThT through blue light has led to a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential in the cells on the left-side, as seen by the loss in TMRM signal and a redistribution in the ThT signal.