Nanomolar Nitric Oxide Concentrations in Living Cells Measured by Means of Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

Publish Year: 2022
Publisher:  Molecules 2022, 27(3), 1010
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Measurement of the nitric oxide (NO) concentration in living cells in the physiological nanomolar range is crucial in understanding NO biochemical functions, as well as in characterizing the efficiency and kinetics of NO delivery by NO-releasing drugs. Here, we show that fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is perfectly suited for these purposes, due to its sensitivity, selectivity, and spatial resolution. Using the fluorescent indicators, diaminofluoresceins (DAFs), and FCS, we measured the NO concentrations in NO-producing living human primary endothelial cells, as well as NO delivery kinetics, by an external NO donor to the immortal human epithelial living cells. Due to the high spatial resolution of FCS, the NO concentration in different parts of the cells were also measured. The detection of nitric oxide by means of diaminofluoresceins is much more efficient and faster in living cells than in PBS solutions, even though the conversion to the fluorescent form is a multi-step reaction.

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