(1/2851) The bystander effect in the HSVtk/ganciclovir system and its relationship to gap junctional communication.

The bystander effect (BSE) is an interesting and important property of the herpes thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (hTK/GCV) system of gene therapy for cancer. With the BSE, not only are the hTK expressing cells killed upon ganciclovir (GCV) exposure but also neighboring wild-type tumor cells. On testing a large number of tumor cell lines in vitro, a wide range of sensitivity to bystander killing was found. Since transfer of toxic GCV metabolites from hTK-modified to wild-type tumor cells via gap junctions (GJ) seemed to be a likely mechanism of the BSE, we tested GJ function in these various tumors with a dye transfer technique and pharmacological agents known to affect GJ communication. We confirmed that mixtures of tumor cell resistant to the BSE did not show dye transfer from cell to cell while bystander-sensitive tumor cells did. Dieldrin, a drug known to decrease GJ communication, diminished dye transfer and also inhibited the BSE. Forskolin, an upregulator of cAMP did increase GJ, but directly inhibited hTK and therefore its effect on BSE could not be determined. We conclude that these observations further support port the concept that functional GJ play an important role in the BSE and further suggest that pharmacological manipulation of GJ may influence the outcome of cancer therapy with hTK/GCV.  (+info)

(2/2851) Overexpression of the multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP1) in human heavy metal-selected tumor cells.

Cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the resistance to cytotoxic heavy metals remain largely to be characterized in mammalian cells. To this end, we have analyzed a metal-resistant variant of the human lung cancer GLC4 cell line that we have selected by a step-wise procedure in potassium antimony tartrate. Antimony-selected cells, termed GLC4/Sb30 cells, poorly accumulated antimony through an enhanced cellular efflux of metal, thus suggesting up-regulation of a membrane export system in these cells. Indeed, GLC4/Sb30 cells were found to display a functional overexpression of the multidrug resistance-associated protein MRP1, a drug export pump, as demonstrated by Western blotting, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and calcein accumulation assays. Moreover, MK571, a potent inhibitor of MRP1 activity, was found to markedly down-modulate resistance of GLC4/Sb30 cells to antimony and to decrease cellular export of the metal. Taken together, our data support the conclusion that overexpression of functional MRP1 likely represents one major mechanism by which human cells can escape the cytotoxic effects of heavy metals.  (+info)

(3/2851) Fluorimetric multiparameter cell assay at the single cell level fabricated by optical tweezers.

A fluorimetric multi-parameter cell sensor at the single cell level is presented which makes it possible to observe the physiological behavior of different cell lines, different physiological parameters, and statistical data at the same time. Different cell types were immobilized at predefined positions with high accuracy using optical tweezers and adhesion promoting surface layers. The process is applicable to both adherent and non-adherent cells. Coating of the immobilization area with mussel adhesive protein was shown to be essential for the process. Intracellular proton and calcium concentrations in different cell classes were simultaneously imaged and the specific activation of T lymphocytes was demonstrated. This method should be especially useful for drug screening due to the small sample volume and high information density.  (+info)

(4/2851) Shrinkage-induced activation of Na+/H+ exchange in rat renal mesangial cells.

Using the pH-sensitive dye 2', 7'-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF), we examined the effect of hyperosmolar solutions, which presumably caused cell shrinkage, on intracellular pH (pHi) regulation in mesangial cells (single cells or populations) cultured from the rat kidney. The calibration of BCECF is identical in shrunken and unshrunken mesangial cells if the extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]) is adjusted to match the predicted intracellular [K+]. For pHi values between approximately 6.7 and approximately 7.4, the intrinsic buffering power in shrunken cells (600 mosmol/kgH2O) is threefold larger than in unshrunken cells (approximately 300 mosmol/kgH2O). In the nominal absence of CO2/HCO-3, exposing cell populations to a HEPES-buffered solution supplemented with approximately 300 mM mannitol (600 mosmol/kgH2O) causes steady-state pHi to increase by approximately 0.4. The pHi increase is due to activation of Na+/H+ exchange because, in single cells, it is blocked in the absence of external Na+ or in the presence of 50 microM ethylisopropylamiloride (EIPA). Preincubating cells in a Cl--free solution for at least 14 min inhibits the shrinkage-induced pHi increase by 80%. We calculated the pHi dependence of the Na+/H+ exchange rate in cell populations under normosmolar and hyperosmolar conditions by summing 1) the pHi dependence of the total acid-extrusion rate and 2) the pHi dependence of the EIPA-insensitive acid-loading rate. Shrinkage alkali shifts the pHi dependence of Na+/H+ exchange by approximately 0.7 pH units.  (+info)

(5/2851) Distribution of 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate staining during meiotic maturation and fertilization in vitro of mouse oocytes.

The aim of this confocal microscopy study was to determine whether the pattern of CellTracker Green 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (CMFDA) staining changes during meiotic maturation and fertilization in vitro of mouse oocytes. At different times during meiotic maturation and fertilization, oocytes, zygotes and two-cell embryos were stained with CMFDA to demonstrate intracellular glutathione S-transferase activity. After washing in CMFDA-free medium, most oocytes, zygotes and embryos were stained with dihydroethidium (HE) to visualize DNA structures. Meiotic maturation and fertilization in vitro of mouse oocytes were associated with changes in the pattern of intracellular CMFDA staining. In particular, accumulations of CMFDA-positive membranes were observed around the nucleus of germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes, overlaying the sperm nucleus as well as overlaying the first mitotic spindle if this approached the plasma membrane. Staining of oocytes and zygotes with the probes 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodine [DiOC6(3)], which stains all the intracellular membranes, and rhodamine 123, which stains active mitochondria, demonstrated that the intracellular structures evidenced by CMFDA staining did not correspond to accumulations of mitochondria. Exposure of oocytes and zygotes to the microtubule-disrupting agent nocodazole or the actin-depolymerizing drug cytochalasin D revealed an autonomous microfilament-dependent transport and relocation of CMFDA-positive membranes during meiotic maturation and fertilization. Such a transport of CMFDA-positive membranes may be envisaged as a protective shield built to prevent damage to DNA from endogenous and exogenous mutagen metabolites.  (+info)

(6/2851) Partitioning of triphenylalkylphosphonium homologues in gel bead-immobilized liposomes: chromatographic measurement of their membrane partition coefficients.

Unilamellar liposomes of small or large size, SUVs and LUVs, respectively, were stably immobilized in the highly hydrophilic Sepharose 4B or Sephacryl S-1000 gel beads as a membrane stationary phase for immobilized liposome chromatography (ILC). Lipophilic cations of triphenylmethylphosphonium and tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP+) have been used as probes of the membrane potential of cells. Interaction of TPP+ and triphenylalkylphosphonium homologues with the immobilized liposomal membranes was shown by their elution profiles on both zonal and frontal ILC. Retardation of the lipophilic cations on the liposome gel bed was increased as the hydrophobicity of the cations increased, indicating the partitioning of lipophilic cations into the hydrocarbon region of the membranes. The cations did not retard on the Sepharose or Sephacryl gel bed without liposomes, confirming that the cations only interact with the immobilized liposomes. Effects of the solute concentration, flow rate, and gel-matrix substance on the ILC were studied. The stationary phase volume of the liposomal membranes was calculated from the volume of a phospholipid molecule and the amount of the immobilized phospholipid, which allowed us to determine the membrane partition coefficient (KLM) for the lipophilic cations distributed between the aqueous mobile and membrane stationary phases. The values of KLM were generally increased with the hydrophobicity of the solutes increased, and were higher for the SUVs than for the LUVs. The ILC method described here can be applied to measure membrane partition coefficients for other lipophilic solutes (e.g., drugs).  (+info)

(7/2851) Chemical transformations in individual ultrasmall biomimetic containers.

Individual phospholipid vesicles, 1 to 5 micrometers in diameter, containing a single reagent or a complete reaction system, were immobilized with an infrared laser optical trap or by adhesion to modified borosilicate glass surfaces. Chemical transformations were initiated either by electroporation or by electrofusion, in each case through application of a short (10-microsecond), intense (20 to 50 kilovolts per centimeter) electric pulse delivered across ultramicroelectrodes. Product formation was monitored by far-field laser fluorescence microscopy. The ultrasmall characteristic of this reaction volume led to rapid diffusional mixing that permits the study of fast chemical kinetics. This technique is also well suited for the study of reaction dynamics of biological molecules within lipid-enclosed nanoenvironments that mimic cell membranes.  (+info)

(8/2851) Kinetics of lactate and pyruvate transport in cultured rat myotubes.

Skeletal muscle transport of lactate and pyruvate was studied in primary cultures of rat myotubes, applying the pH-sensitive fluorescent indicator 2', 7'-bis(carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein. The initial rate of decrease in intracellular pH (pHi) upon lactate or pyruvate incubation was used to determine total transport (carrier mediated and diffusion). Both lactate and pyruvate transport could be inhibited by a combination of 0.5 mM 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2, 2'-disulfonic acid, 5 mM mersalyl and 10 mM alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate. The kinetic parameters, Km and Vmax, for carrier-mediated transport of lactate were 9.9+/-1.1 mM and 0. 69+/-0.02 mmol l-1 s-1, respectively. For pyruvate, Km and Vmax were 4.4+/-1.3 mM and 0.30+/-0.05 mmol l-1 s-1, respectively. The diffusion component of the total transport was 0.0040+/-0.0005[S] (n=4) and 0.0048+/-0.0003[S] (n=4) for lactate and pyruvate, respectively. Furthermore, it was observed that the two monocarboxylate transporter isoforms present in mature skeletal muscles, MCT1 and MCT4 (formerly called MCT3 (M.C. Wilson, V.N. Jackson, C. Heddle, N.T. Price, H. Pilegaard, C. Juel, A. Bonen, I. Montgomery, O.F. Hutter, A.P. Halestrap, Lactic acid efflux from white skeletal muscle is catalyzed by the monocarboxylate transporter isoform MCT3, J. Biol. Chem. 273 (1998) 15920-15926)), were also expressed in primary culture of myotubes.  (+info)