Injection of electric field pulses of high intensity (kV/cm) and short duration (microsecond range) into a cell suspension results in a temporary increase of the membrane permeability due to a reversible electric breakdown of the cell membrane. Here we demonstrate that application of supercritical field pulses between 4.5 and 8.1 kV/cm strength and 40 μsec duration induce typical features of apoptosis in Jurkat T-lymphoblasts and in HL-60 cells including DNA fragmentation and cleavage of the poly(ADP ribose) polymerase. Apoptosis induction did not depend on the presence of any particular electrolyte in the extracellular medium. However, no apoptosis was observed in solutions without a minimum amount of salt. Apoptotic DNA fragmentation was prevented by the caspase inhibitor zVAD.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 1999
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