Induction of apoptosis by bleomycin in resting and cycling human lymphocytes

P. Vernole, B. Tedeschi, D. Caporossi, M. Maccarrone, G. Melino, M. Annicchiarico-Petruzzelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bleomycin induces DNA and chromosome breakage. The differential sensitivity to the drug has been used in vitro to identify individuals at high risk of developing tumours. However, there are limited reports on the ability of bleomycin to induce apoptosis. In this study we tested induction of apoptosis in human peripheral lymphocytes by bleomycin at different concentrations and different culture times using various parameters, such as nuclear fragmentation and DNA fragmentation, evaluated either in situ with terminal transferase and labelled nucleotides (TUNEL) or by flow cytometry analysis. We demonstrate that bleomycin induces apoptosis without previous permeabilization of the cell membrane. Cell death occurs mainly by apoptosis and not by necrosis, with significant alteration of membrane lipoperoxidation (evaluated by luminescence).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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