Three-dimensional electron paramagnetic resonance imaging of mice using ascorbic acid sensitive nitroxide imaging probes

Hideo Sato-Akaba, Miho C. Emoto, Ken ichi Yamada, Hisashi Koshino, Hirotada G. Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nitroxide compounds have been used as redox-sensitive imaging probes by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) for assessing oxidative stress in vivo. Fast redox reactions of nitroxide radicals are favorable for assessment of higher redox sensitivity; however, a variety of nitroxides have not been trialed for use as imaging probes due to their very rapid in vivo reduction, which cannot be captured at the slow operation speed of existing EPR imagers. To overcome this limitation, we improved our EPR system to provide a stable and highly sensitive imaging operation. We challenged the improved EPR imager to perform three-dimensional (3D) EPR imaging of mouse brain using two useful nitroxide imaging probes, 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl (Tempol) and 2,6-dispiro-4′,4ʺ-dipyrane-piperidine-4-one-N-oxyl (DiPy). The second-order rate constant of DiPy with ascorbic acid is 10 times larger than that of Tempol. The improved EPR imager obtained clear 3D EPR images of mouse brain and demonstrated that Tempol could exist with an unpaired electron. The imager also successfully obtained 3D EPR images of mouse head after administration of DiPy. As 126 projections can be acquired in a period of 6 s, 3D EPR imaging can visualize the sequential process of DiPy entering the brain, being distributed within the brain, and being reduced within the brain. These improvements to the EPR imager will enable useful nitroxide imaging probes that were previously unsuitable as imaging probes due to their rapid reduction to be considered for use for sensitive redox assessment in an in vivo system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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