Development and Application of a Near-Infrared Fluorescence Probe for Oxidative Stress Based on Differential Reactivity of Linked Cyanine Dyes

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) operate as signaling molecules under various physiological conditions, and overproduction of ROS is involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Therefore, fluorescent probes for visualizing ROS are promising tools with which to uncover the molecular mechanisms of physiological and pathological processes and might also be useful for diagnosis. Here we describe a novel fluorescence probe, FOSCY-1, operating in the physiologically favorable near-infrared region. The probe consists of two differentially ROS-reactive cyanine dyes connected by a linker; reaction of the more susceptible dye with ROS releases intramolecular fluorescence quenching of the less susceptible dye. We successfully applied this probe to detect ROS produced by HL60 cells and porcine neutrophils and for imaging oxidative stress in a mouse model of peritonitis.