Publication details

Transient suppression of gap junctional intercellular communication after exposure to 100-nanosecond pulsed electric fields

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Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Bioelectrochemistry
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Electrochemistry
Keywords GJIC; nsPEF; Connexin 43; Cx43; MAP kinase; Actin
Description Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is an important mechanism that is involved and affected in many diseases and injuries. So far, the effect of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) on the communication between cells was not investigated. An in vitro approach is presented with rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells grown and exposed in a monolayer. In order to observe sub-lethal effects, cells were exposed to pulsed electric fields with a duration of 100 ns and amplitudes between 10 and 20 kV/cm. GJIC strongly decreased within 15 min after treatment but recovered within 24 h. Gene expression of Cx43 was significantly decreased and associated with a reduced total amount of Cx43 protein. In addition, MAP kinases p38 and Erk1/2, involved in Cx43 phosphorylation, were activated and Cx43 became hyperphosphorylated. Immunofluorescent staining of Cx43 displayed the disassembly of gap junctions. Further, a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton was observed whereas tight junction protein ZO-1 was not significantly affected. All effects were field- and time-dependent and most pronounced within 30 to 60 min after treatment. A better understanding of a possible manipulation of GJIC by nsPEFs might eventually offer a possibility to develop and improve treatments.
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