UNIT 12.15 Application of Single-Cell Microfluorimetry to Neurotoxicology Assays

  1. Tobi L. Limke1,
  2. William D. Atchison2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx1215s42

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Limke, T. L. and Atchison, W. D. 2009. Application of Single-Cell Microfluorimetry to Neurotoxicology Assays. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 42:12.15:12.15.1–12.15.13.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Millipore Corporation, Billerica, Massachusetts

  2. 2

    Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: NOV 2009


Intracellular signaling events play fundamental roles in regulating physiological function. In neurons, these include inducing growth and differentiation, secretion, gene expression, and controlling processes associated with learning and memory. All of these processes have in common the vital dependence on changes in intracellular Ca2+ [Ca2+]i. Numerous toxicants, including metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and biological neurotoxins, can disrupt [Ca2+]i. Understanding how toxicants disrupt Ca2+-dependent neuronal signaling, and thus induce neuronal death or dysfunction, requires the ability to monitor [Ca2+]i at the level of individual cells. A series of fluorophores that can report on changes in [Ca2+]i has been pivotal in this process. This section describes how to use these fluorophores to study effects of neurotoxicants on two types of processes: changes in [Ca2+]i in individual cells and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. Similar techniques using distinct fluorophores can be applied to other physiological processes. Curr. Protoc. Toxicol. 42:12.15.1-12.15.13. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • fluorescence;
  • calcium;
  • fluorophores;
  • mitochondria