Ultrashort Pulsed Electric Fields Induce Membrane Phospholipid Translocation and Caspase Activation: Differential Sensitivities of Jurkat T Lymphoblasts and Rat Glioma C6 Cells

P. Thomas Vernier, Aimin Li, Laura Marcu, Cheryl M. Craft, Martin A. Gundersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Megavolt-per-meter electric pulses with durations shorter than charging time constants associated with external cell membrane dielectric properties can generate significant voltages on the membranes of intracellular structures. Nanosecond-duration, high-field (2-4 MV/m) pulses are not immediately lethal to cells and do not produce the conductive openings in the cytoplasmic membrane associated with long-pulse, low-field electroporation, but can induce profound physiological changes, including apoptosis (programmed cell death). We demonstrate rapid, non-destructive, field-dependent translocation of the plasma membrane inner leaflet phospholipid phosphatidylserine in Jurkat T lymphocytes, and we show that cells which exhibit a similar geometry in suspension, rat glioma C6 cells, are highly resistant to these pulses and respond differently even to much higher doses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-809
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Electroperturbation
  • Electroporation
  • Phosphatidylserine translocation
  • Phospholipid inversion
  • Ultrashort electric pulse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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