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Experimental Diabesity Research
Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 211-217

Noninvasive Orthogonal Polarization Spectral Imaging as Applied to Microvascular Studies in Mice

1Diabetic Microangiopathy Research Unit, MERCK Santé–INSERM UMR 585, INSA-Lyon, Louis Pasteur Bldg., 11 ave. Jean Capelle, Villeurbanne Cedex 69621, France
2INSERM UMR 585, INSA-Lyon, Villeurbanne, France

Received 16 January 2004; Accepted 26 March 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In vivo observations of the mouse microcirculation can hardly be performed due to technical difficulties, limiting the knowledge that could be obtained from gene manipulated mice models. The aim of the present study was to check the applicability of a novel optical system, the orthogonal polarization spectral technology, to study the mouse microcirculation. In anaesthetized mice, the spinotrapezius muscle microcirculation was observed in situ. The diameter of precapillary arterioles was measured before and after a pharmacological or hormonal stimulation. High-contrast images of the muscle microcirculation were obtained and significant vasodilatation of arterioles was observed after topical applications of acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside, and insulin. As compared to conventional techniques, orthogonal polarization spectral imaging makes it possible to assess and study microvascular beds in mice, which were inaccessible until now, allowing the use of gene manipulated mice to investigate, for example, the mechanisms involved in the development of diabetic microangiopathy.