Our previous studies have shown that a specially designed, so-called synchronization modulation electric field can entrain active transporter Na/K pumps in the cell membrane. This approach was previously developed in a study of single cells using a voltage clamp to monitor the pump currents. We are now expanding our study from isolated single cells to aggregated cells in a 3-dimensional cell matrix, through the use of a tissue slice from the rat heart. The slice is about 150 μm in thickness, meaning the slices contain many cell layers, resulting in a simplified 3-dimensional system. A fluorescent probe was used to identify the membrane potential and the ionic concentration gradients across the cell membrane. In spite of intrinsic cell-to-cell interactions and the difficulty in stimulating cell aggregation in the tissue slice, the oscillating electric field increased the intracellular fluorescent intensity, indicating elevation of the cell ionic concentration and hyperpolarization of the cell membrane. Blockage of these changes by ouabain confirmed that the results are directly related to Na/K pumps. These results along with the backward modulation indicate that the synchronization modulation electric field can influence the Na/K pumps in tissue cells of a 3-dimensional matrix and therefore hyperpolarize the cell membrane.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 23, 2012
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