Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology
The calcium concentration within living cells is highly dynamic and, for many cell types, a reliable indicator of the functional state of the cells-both of isolated cells, but even, more important, of cells in tissue. In order to dynamically quantify intracellular calcium levels, various genetically encoded calcium sensors have been developed-the best of which are those based on Frster resonant energy transfer (FRET). Here we present a fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) method to measure FRET in such a calcium sensor (TN L15) in neurons of hippocampal slices and of the brain stem of anesthetized mice. The method gives the unique opportunity to determine absolute neuronal calcium concentrations in the living organism.