Intracellular distribution and stability of a luminescent rhenium(i) tricarbonyl tetrazolato complex using epifluorescence microscopy in conjunction with X-ray fluorescence imaging

J. L. Wedding, Hugh Hamlyn Harris, Christie A Bader, Sally E Plush, R. Mak, Massimiliano Massi, Douglas Alexander Brooks, Barry Lai, Stefan Vogt, M. V. Werrett, P V Simpson, Brian W Skelton, Stefano Stagni

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Optical epifluorescence microscopy was used in conjunction with X-ray fluorescence imaging to monitor the stability and intracellular distribution of the luminescent rhenium(i) complex fac-[Re(CO)3(phen)L], where phen = 1,10-phenathroline and L = 5-(4-iodophenyl)tetrazolato, in 22Rv1 cells. The rhenium complex showed no signs of ancillary ligand dissociation, a conclusion based on data obtained via X-ray fluorescence imaging aligning iodine and rhenium distributions. A diffuse reticular localisation was detected for the complex in the nuclear/perinuclear region of cells, by either optical or X-ray fluorescence imaging techniques. X-ray fluorescence also showed that the rhenium complex disrupted the homeostasis of some biologically relevant elements, such as chlorine, potassium and zinc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-390
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Rhenium
  • Tricarbonyl complexes
  • Ligands

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