Asymmetric patterns of small molecule transport after nanosecond and microsecond electropermeabilization

Sözer, Esin B.
Pocetti, Florencia
Vernier, P. Thomas
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"Imaging of fluorescent small molecule transport into electropermeabilized cells reveals polarized patterns of entry, which must reflect in some way the mechanisms of the migration of these molecules across the compromised membrane barrier. In some reports, transport occurs primarily across the areas of the membrane nearest the positive electrode (anode), but in others cathode-facing entry dominates. Here we compare YO-PRO-1, propidium, and calcein uptake into U-937 cells after nanosecond (6 ns) and microsecond (220 ls) electric pulse exposures. Each of the three dyes exhibits a different pattern. Calcein shows no preference for anode- or cathode-facing entry that is detectable with our measurement system. Immediately after a microsecond pulse, YO-PRO-1 and propidium enter the cell roughly equally from the positive and negative poles, but transport through the cathode-facing side dominates in less than 1 s. After nanosecond pulse permeabilization, YO-PRO-1 and propidium enter primarily on the anode-facing side of the cell."