A promising technique to study muscle fibrosis at the cardiac level

French researchers from Nantes have developed a new technique for 3D visualization of muscle fibrosis based on automated image analysis (known as second harmonic generation or SHG) coupled with the study of histological sections of heart muscle:

  • the dystrophin-deficient rat, model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and control rats were used to validate it;
  • fibrotic lesions are thus more easily visible and quantifiable in the myocardium;
  • it is also possible to see their topographical and temporal evolution;
  • changes in the collagen network, both quantitative and qualitative, appear to be good biomarkers of the phenomenon.


Label-free 3D characterization of cardiac fibrosis in muscular dystrophy using SHG imaging of cleared tissue. Pichon J, Ledevin M, Larcher T, et al. Biol Cell. 2021 Dec 29.