The 2068 clone of the PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cell line, which has higher intracellular D-Asp levels than the PC12 cell line, was investigated for the presence of D-aspartate (D-Asp) by employing the anti-D-Asp antibody that we had previously developed. Confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy revealed that D-Asp immunoreactivity (IR) is present in granule-like structure(s), which suggests that D-Asp is associated with vesicles within the cells. Depolarization by high KCl concentrations and a Ca2+ ionophore increased D-Asp release from the cells. This release was significantly suppressed by depleting extracellular Ca2+ ions, which suggests that D-Asp is released from the cells through exocytotic processes. D-Asp IR in 2068 cells is also prominent in round-shaped cells that appear to be undergoing mitosis. The immunofluorescence intensity of D-Asp at every confocal plane was integrated throughout the entire depth of each cell and compared between the round-shaped mitotic cells and the flat resting cells. Total fluorescence intensities in the mitotic cells are higher than those in flat resting cells, suggesting that cellular D-Asp levels may be related to the cell cycle of 2068 cells.
A medical image query system, including a relational database and DBMS (database management system), which can visualize image data and can achieve spatial, attribute, and mixed queries was designed and implemented. Image data used in querying can be visualized in slice, MPR (multi-planner reformat), volume rendering, and overlapping forms on the query system, in which queries with or without the brain atlas can be available. After image data are spatially clustered using the adaptive Hilbert curve, which is the space filling curve proposed in this paper, they are encoded and stored in the database without loss. In applying the adaptive Hilbert curve, the window size varies with the size of the region of interest (ROI) to reduce the size of the data to be stored. In the experiment, the adaptive Hilbert curve provided about a 10% better compression rate and about 77.4% better processing time than the Hilbert curve for the ventricle of the brain MR images. The results of spatial query with the brain atlas for a brain tumor case showed that the medical image query system is a useful tool for morphometric and functional analysis of brain images.
Examination of skin color is very important in the clinical diagnosis and cosmetic evaluation. However, visual evaluation is subjective, and objective quantification of skin color may therefore be a valuable supplement to the clinical evaluation. In this paper the design and performance of an instrument for quantifying cutaneous color are discussed. The imaging colorimeter consists of an optical unit equipped with video camera, an image processing unit, and a microcomputer. Combining colorimetry and imaging methods, the acquired image is calibrated and corrected, under several ambient light conditions, providing non-contact reproducible color measurements, free of the errors and the limitations present in conventional colorimeters. The imaging colorimeter appears to be a simple and accurate device for objectively measuring skin color. These features highlight the potential of imaging colorimeters as clinical and research tools for the standardization of clinical diagnosis and for the objective evaluation of treatment effectiveness.
Effects of L-type and T-type Ca2+ channel blockade on the early phase Ca2+ transients in rat cardiomyocytes were examined with a rapid-scanning laser confocal microscope and fluo-3. On electrical stimulation of ventricular myocytes, Ca2+ concentration was elevated uniformly throughout the cytoplasm within 8 to 12 msec. In contrast, on stimulation of atrial myocytes, the earliest rise in Ca2+ occurred at the cell periphery and then spread to the cell interior. T-type Ca2+ channel blockade by Ni 2+ or mibefradil had no effect while L-type Ca2+ channel blockade by Cd2+ greatly inhibited the Ca2+ transient in both ventricular and atrial cells. The present study suggested the involvement of a propagated Ca2+-induced-Ca2+ release mechanism in atrial but not ventricular excitation-contraction coupling. In both the ventricle and atrium, the Ca2+ influx triggering Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum was shown to flow through L-type but not T-type Ca2+ channels.