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Tissue Clearing Approaches in Atherosclerosis.

Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2419:747-763. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1924-7_45. PMID: 35237999.

Authors/Editors: Sun T, Li Y, Förstera B, Stanic K, Lu S, Steffens S, Yin C, Ertürk A, Megens RTA, Weber C, Habenicht A, Mohanta SK.
Publication Date: 2022

Abstract

Recent advances in cardiovascular research have led to a more comprehensive understanding of molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis. It has become apparent that the disease involves three layers of the arterial wall: the intima, the media, and a connective tissue coat termed the adventitia. It is also now appreciated that arteries are surrounded by adipose and neuronal tissues. In addition, adjacent to and within the adventitia, arteries are embedded in a loose connective tissue containing blood vessels (vasa vasora) and lymph vessels, artery-draining lymph nodes and components of the peripheral nervous system, including periarterial nerves and ganglia. During atherogenesis, each of these tissues undergoes marked structural and cellular alterations. We propose that a better understanding of these cell-cell and cell-tissue interactions may considerably advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. Methods to acquire subcellular optical access to the intact tissues surrounding healthy and diseased arteries are urgently needed to achieve these aims. Tissue clearing is a landmark next-generation, three-dimensional (3D) microscopy technique that allows to image large-scale hitherto inaccessible intact deep tissue compartments. It allows for detailed reconstructions of arteries by a combination of labelling, clearing, advanced microscopies and other imaging and data-analysis tools. Here, we describe two distinct tissue clearing protocols; solvent-based modified three-dimensional imaging of solvent-cleared organs (3DISCO) clearing and another using aqueous-based 2,2'-thiodiethanol (TDE) clearing, both of which complement each other.

 

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