Lineage-related sensitivity to apoptosis in human tumor cells undergoing hyperthermia

Elisabetta Falcieri, Francesca Luchetti, Sabrina Burattini, Barbara Canonico, Spartaco Santi, Stefano Papa

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In this study the role of hyperthermia as an apoptotic trigger was analyzed in four human tumor cell lines: HL60, U937, DOHH2, and K562. These cell lines were chosen because of their well known and different expression of bc1-2 and bcr-abl genes, the expression of which is known to be an antiapoptotic condition. HL60 and U937 cells were strongly susceptible to heat exposure, while DOHH2 cells were weakly sensitive and K562 cells were resistant, thus suggesting a possible gene involvement in this type of programmed cell death. The mechanisms underlying this apoptosis were investigated by flow cytometry, agarose gel electrophoresis, and light and electron microscopy. A subdiploid peak and DNA laddering, both of which are parameters specifically correlated to programmed cell death, were present in HL60 and U937 and, even if less evident, in DOHH2 cells undergoing hyperthermic treatment, and were absent in K562 cells. In addition, DNA single-strand cleavage was revealed by in situ nick translation, observed by confocal microscopy. Morphological analysis confirmed these results and revealed the typical chromatin changes, followed by the appearance of micronuclei and apoptotic bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Instrumentation

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    Falcieri, E., Luchetti, F., Burattini, S., Canonico, B., Santi, S., & Papa, S. (2000). Lineage-related sensitivity to apoptosis in human tumor cells undergoing hyperthermia. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 113(2), 135-144.