Article

Two Modes of Cell Death Caused by Exposure to Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 07/2013; 8(7):e70278. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070278
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT High-amplitude electric pulses of nanosecond duration, also known as nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF), are a novel modality with promising applications for cell stimulation and tissue ablation. However, key mechanisms responsible for the cytotoxicity of nsPEF have not been established. We show that the principal cause of cell death induced by 60- or 300-ns pulses in U937 cells is the loss of the plasma membrane integrity ("nanoelectroporation"), leading to water uptake, cell swelling, and eventual membrane rupture. Most of this early necrotic death occurs within 1-2 hr after nsPEF exposure. The uptake of water is driven by the presence of pore-impermeable solutes inside the cell, and can be counterbalanced by the presence of a pore-impermeable solute such as sucrose in the medium. Sucrose blocks swelling and prevents the early necrotic death; however the long-term cell survival (24 and 48 hr) does not significantly change. Cells protected with sucrose demonstrate higher incidence of the delayed death (6-24 hr post nsPEF). These cells are more often positive for the uptake of an early apoptotic marker dye YO-PRO-1 while remaining impermeable to propidium iodide. Instead of swelling, these cells often develop apoptotic fragmentation of the cytoplasm. Caspase 3/7 activity increases already in 1 hr after nsPEF and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage is detected in 2 hr. Staurosporin-treated positive control cells develop these apoptotic signs only in 3 and 4 hr, respectively. We conclude that nsPEF exposure triggers both necrotic and apoptotic pathways. The early necrotic death prevails under standard cell culture conditions, but cells rescued from the necrosis nonetheless die later on by apoptosis. The balance between the two modes of cell death can be controlled by enabling or blocking cell swelling.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Olga Pakhomova, Jun 18, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
96 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton structures was reported as one of the characteristic effects of nanosecond-duration pulsed electric field (nsPEF) in both mammalian and plant cells. We utilized CHO cells that expressed the monomeric fluorescent protein (mApple) tagged to actin to test if nsPEF modifies the cell actin directly or as a consequence of cell membrane permeabilization. A train of four 600-ns pulses at 19.2 kV/cm (2 Hz) caused immediate cell membrane poration manifested by YO-PRO-1 dye uptake, gradual cell rounding and swelling. Concurrently, bright actin features were replaced by dimmer and uniform fluorescence of diffuse actin. To block the nsPEF-induced swelling, the bath buffer was isoosmotically supplemented with an electropore-impermeable solute (sucrose). A similar addition of a smaller, electropore-permeable solute (adonitol) served as a control. We demonstrated that sucrose efficiently blocked disassembly of actin features by nsPEF, whereas adonitol did not. Sucrose also attenuated bleaching of mApple-tagged actin in nsPEF-treated cells (as integrated over the cell volume), although did not fully prevent it. We conclude that disintegration of the actin cytoskeleton was a result of cell swelling, which, in turn, was caused by cell permeabilization by nsPEF and transmembrane diffusion of solutes which led to the osmotic imbalance.
    Bioelectrochemistry (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.bioelechem.2014.01.004 · 3.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Strategies for treating liver cancer using radiation, chemotherapy combinations and tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting specific mutations have provided longer survival times, yet multiple treatments are often needed and recurrences with new malignant phenotypes are not uncommon. New and innovative treatments are undoubtedly needed to successfully treat liver cancer. Over the last decade, nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) have shown promise in pre-clinical studies; however, these have been limited to treatment of skin cancers or xenographs in mice. In the present report, an orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model is established in rats using N1-S1 HCC cells. Data demonstrate a response rate of 80-90% when 1000 pulses are delivered with 100ns durations, electric field strengths of 50kV/cm and repetition rates of 1Hz. N1-S1 tumours treated with nsPEFs expressed significant number of cells with active caspase-3 and caspase-9, but not caspase-8, indicating an intrinsic apoptosis mechanism(s) as well as caspase-independent mechanisms. Most remarkably, rats with successfully ablated tumours failed to re-grow tumours when challenged with a second injection of N1-S1 cells when implanted in the same or different liver lobe that harboured the original tumour. Given this protective effect, infiltration of immune cells and the presence of granzyme B expressing cells within days of treatment suggest the possibility of an anti-tumour adaptive immune response. In conclusion, NsPEFs not only eliminate N1-S1 HCC tumours, but also may induce an immuno-protective effect that defends animals against recurrences of the same cancer.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 07/2014; 50(15). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.07.006 · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Caleb C Roth, Ronald A Barnes, Bennett L Ibey, Hope T Beier, Erick K Moen, Randolph D Glickman
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposures of cells to very short (<1 µs) electric pulses in the megavolt/meter range have been shown to cause disruption of the plasma membrane. This disruption is often characterized by the formation of numerous small pores (<2 nm in diameter) in the plasma membrane that last for several minutes, allowing the flow of ions into the cell. These small pores are called nanopores and the resulting damage to the plasma membrane is referred to as nanoporation. Nanosecond electrical pulse (nsEP) exposure can impart many different stressors on a cell, including electrical, electro-chemical, and mechanical stress. Thus, nsEP exposure is not a " clean " insult, making determination of the mechanism of nanoporation quite difficult. We hypothesize that nsEP exposure creates acoustic shock waves capable of causing nanoporation. Microarray analysis of primary adult human dermal fibroblasts (HDFa) exposed to nsEP, indicated several genes associated with mechanical stress were selectively upregulated 4 h post exposure. The idea that nanoporation is caused by external mechanical force from acoustic shock waves has, to our knowledge, not been investigated. This work will critically challenge the existing paradigm that nanoporation is caused solely by an electric-field driven event and could provide the basis for a plausible explanation for electroporation.
    SPIE - Phontonics West, San Francisco, CA; 02/2015