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Characterization of cytochrome c as marker for retinal cell degeneration by uv/vis spectroscopic imaging

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Retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration have become an important cause of visual loss depending on increasing life expectancy and lifestyle habits. Due to the fact that no satisfying treatment exists, early diagnosis and prevention are the only possibilities to stop the degeneration.

The protein cytochrome c (cyt c) is a suitable marker for degeneration processes and apoptosis because it is a part of the respiratory chain and involved in the apoptotic pathway. The determination of the local distribution and oxidative state of cyt c in living cells allows the characterization of cell degeneration processes. Since cyt c exhibits characteristic absorption bands between 400 and 650 nm wavelength, uv/vis in situ spectroscopic imaging was used for its characterization in retinal ganglion cells. The large amount of data, consisting of spatial and spectral information, was processed by multivariate data analysis. The challenge consists in the identification of the molecular information of cyt c. Baseline correction, principle component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were performed in order to identify cyt c within the spectral dataset. The combination of PCA and CA reveals cyt c and its oxidative state. The results demonstrate that uv/vis spectroscopic imaging in conjunction with sophisticated multivariate methods is a suitable tool to characterize cyt c under in situ conditions.

© 2011 OSA/SPIE

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