Optical methods for probing mitochondrial function in brain slices

Thomas J. Sick, Miguel A. Perez-Pinzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Brain slice preparations have become useful tools for studying multiple facets of normal brain function and for investigations of brain pathophysiology. Recently, a variety of neurological disorders have been linked to dysfunction of brain mitochondria. In this report we discuss optical methods for probing mitochondrial function in brain slices. Absorption spectrophotometric and spectrofluorometric techniques are described for measuring changes in the redox activity of mitochondrial cytochromes and the primary respiratory chain substrate nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), respectively. A spectrofluorometric method is described also for measuring changes in mitochondrial membrane potential using the potential-sensitive fluorescent indicator JC-1. These methods used together have proven to be useful for studying dysfunction of mitochondria following in vitro ischemia in hippocampal slices, and might also be valuable for investigations of mitochondrial involvement in other neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalMethods: A Companion to Methods in Enzymology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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