Visualization of Intra‐neuronal Motor Protein Transport through Upconversion Microscopy


Cargo transport along axons, a physiological process mediated by motor proteins, is essential for neuronal function and survival. A current limitation in the study of axonal transport is the lack of a robust imaging technique with a high spatiotemporal resolution to visualize and quantify the movement of motor proteins in real-time and in different depth planes. Herein, we present a dynamic imaging technique that fully exploits the characteristics of upconversion nanoparticles. This technique can be used as a microscopic probe for the quantitative in-situ tracking of retrograde transport neurons with single-particle resolution in multilayered cultures. This study may provide a powerful tool to reveal dynamic neuronal activity and intra-axonal transport function as well as any associated neurodegenerative diseases resulting from mutation or impairment in the axonal transport machinery.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Volume 58, Issue 27