Cellular apoptosis by nanosecond, high-intensity electric pulses: model evaluation of the pulsing threshold and extrinsic pathway.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0246, USA.
Bioelectrochemistry (Amsterdam, Netherlands) (Impact Factor: 2.65). 03/2010; 79(2):179-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2010.03.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A simple, bistable rate-equation based model is used to predict trends of cellular apoptosis following electric pulsing. The caspase-8 extrinsic pathway with inherent delays in its activation, cytochrome c release, and an internal feedback mechanism between caspase-3 and cleavage of Bid are incorporated. Results obtained were roughly in keeping with the experimental cell-survival data and include an electrical pulse-number threshold followed by a near-exponential fall-off. The extrinsic caspase-8 mechanism is predicted to be more sensitive than the mitochondrial intrinsic pathway for electric pulse induced cell apoptosis. Also, delays of about an hour are predicted for detectable molecular concentration increases following electrical pulsing. Finally, our results suggest that multi-needle electrode systems with adjustable field orientations would likely enhance apoptosis in the context of pulsed voltage-induced inactivation of tumor cells.

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