Imaging of Murine Whole Lung Fibrosis by Large Scale 3D Microscopy aided by Tissue Optical Clearing

Lorenzo F. Ochoa, Alexander Kholodnykh, Paula Villarreal, Bing Tian, Rahul Pal, Alexander N. Freiberg, Allan R. Brasier, Massoud Motamedi, Gracie Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Pulmonary fibrosis, characterized by excessive collagen deposition in the lungs, comprises a key and debilitating component of chronic lung diseases. Methods are lacking for the direct visualization of fibrillar collagen throughout the whole murine lung, a capability that would aid the understanding of lung fibrosis. We combined an optimized organ-level optical clearing (OC) approach with large-scale, label-free multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and second harmonic generation microscopy (SHGM) to reveal the complete network of fibrillar collagen in whole murine lungs. An innate inflammation-driven model based on repetitive poly(I:C) challenge was evaluated. Following OC, mosaic MPM/SHGM imaging with 3D reconstruction and whole organ quantitative analysis revealed significant differences in collagen deposition between PBS and poly(I:C) treated lungs. Airway specific analysis in whole lung acquisitions revealed significant sub-epithelial fibrosis evident throughout the proximal conductive and distal airways with higher collagen deposition in the poly(I:C) group vs PBS group. This study establishes a new, powerful approach based on OC and MPM/SHGM imaging for 3D analysis of lung fibrosis with macroscopic views of lung pathology based on microscopy and providing a new way to analyze the whole lung while avoiding regional sampling bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13348
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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