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Flicker-assisted localization microscopy reveals altered mitochondrial architecture in hypertension.

Chalmers, Susan and Saunter, Christopher D. and Girkin, John M. and McCarron, John G. (2015) 'Flicker-assisted localization microscopy reveals altered mitochondrial architecture in hypertension.', Scientific reports., 5 . p. 16875.


Mitochondrial morphology is central to normal physiology and disease development. However, in many live cells and tissues, complex mitochondrial structures exist and morphology has been difficult to quantify. We have measured the shape of electrically-discrete mitochondria, imaging them individually to restore detail hidden in clusters and demarcate functional boundaries. Stochastic “flickers” of mitochondrial membrane potential were visualized with a rapidly-partitioning fluorophore and the pixel-by-pixel covariance of spatio-temporal fluorescence changes analyzed. This Flicker-assisted Localization Microscopy (FaLM) requires only an epifluorescence microscope and sensitive camera. In vascular myocytes, the apparent variation in mitochondrial size was partly explained by densely-packed small mitochondria. In normotensive animals, mitochondria were small spheres or rods. In hypertension, mitochondria were larger, occupied more of the cell volume and were more densely clustered. FaLM provides a convenient tool for increased discrimination of mitochondrial architecture and has revealed mitochondrial alterations that may contribute to hypertension.

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Publisher statement:This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:21 October 2015
Date deposited:18 January 2016
Date of first online publication:23 November 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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