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Dual-color immunofluorescent labeling with quantum dots of the diabetes-associated proteins aldose reductase and Toll-like receptor 4 in the kidneys of diabetic rats

Authors Liu XM, Hu R, Lian HW, Liu Y, Liu J, Liu JW, Lin GM, Liu LW, Duan XJ, Yong KT, Ye L

Received 22 January 2015

Accepted for publication 17 March 2015

Published 20 May 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 3651—3662

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S81395

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Xiaomin Liu,1,* Rui Hu,2,* Hongwei Lian,1,3 Yang Liu,4 Jing Liu,1 Jianwei Liu,1 Guimiao Lin,5 Liwei Liu,6 Xiaojian Duan,1 Ken-Tye Yong,2 Ling Ye1

1Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing Key Lab of Aging and Geriatrics, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore; 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, 4Department of Geriatric Nephrology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 5Key Lab of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medical Sciences, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 6School of Science, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Diabetes is one of the major chronic diseases diagnosed worldwide with a common complication of diabetic nephropathy (DN). There are multiple possible mechanisms associated with DN. Aldose reductase (AR) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) may be involved in the occurrence and development of DN. Here, we describe the distribution of AR and TLR4 in cells and renal tissues of diabetic rats through a quantum dot (QD)-based immunofluorescence technique and conventional immunohistochemistry. As a new type of nanosized fluorophore, QDs have been recognized in imaging applications and have broad prospects in biomedical research. The results of the reported study demonstrate that both the AR and the TLR4 proteins were upregulated in the renal tissues of diabetic rats. Further, to explore the relationship between AR and TLR4 in the pathogenesis of DN, a dual-color immunofluorescent labeling technique based on QDs was applied, where the expressions of AR and TLR4 in the renal tissues of diabetic rats were simultaneously observed – for the first time, as far as we are aware. The optimized QD-based immunofluorescence technique has not only shown a satisfying sensitivity and specificity for the detection of biomarkers in cells and tissues, but also is a valuable supplement of immunohistochemistry. The QD-based multiplexed imaging technology provides a new insight into the mechanistic study of the correlation among biological factors as well as having potential applications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, TLR4, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry

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