Luciferin is a low molecular weight organic compound that consists of a benzothiazole moiety attached to a thiazole carboxylic acid moiety. Luciferin is found in fireflies and other animals which, in the presence of ATP and the enzyme luciferase, becomes luminescent. The small size of luciferin also makes it a poor antigen and immune responses to luciferin are unlikely. Luciferin is able to pass the blood brain barrier, the blood placenta barrier and the blood testis barrier, toxicity appears low.
Frequently asked questions
How do you administer luciferin?
Mice with lux-bearing bacteria do not need luciferin to glow. In the tumor models and transgenic models, luciferin is administered intraperitoneally (concomitant with anesthesia).
How well does luciferin distribute?
Luciferin distributes quickly and easily throughout the animal.
How do the animals respond to the repeated administration of luciferin substrate?
Luciferin does not affect the animals deleteriously (no evidence of toxicological or immunological effects).
Do you need to administer luciferin substrate to the animals before imaging?
In bacteria, the entire luciferase operon is stably integrated on the chromosome. This eliminates the need for exogenous luciferin substrate in the bacterial models. The tumor models and transgenic models rely on the exogenous administration of luciferin.
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