Fluorescence microscopic approach for detection of two different modes of breast cancer cell death induced by nanosecond pulsed electric field

Kamlesh Awasthi*, Si Pei Li, Chao Yuan Zhu, Hsin-Yun Hsu, Nobuhiro Ohta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Application of nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) to living systems is a fast-growing research area with great potential for cancer treatment. Here, we have demonstrated a cellular-level approach applying nsPEF having a pulse width of 50 ns and a frequency of 2 kHz to induce the change in intracellular function and dynamics for two subtypes of breast cancerous cells, that is, estrogen and progesterone-positive (ER+ and PR+) and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) negative MCF-7 cells and highly aggressive drug resistance triple-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. Microscopic monitoring of the field effects in real-time or before and after the application of nsPEF indicated that nsPEF induced different field effects on intracellular function and dynamics in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells and activated two different modes of cell death, that is, apoptosis in MCF-7 cells and necrosis (or necroptosis) in MDA-MB-231 cells. These two different modes of nsPEF-induced cell death were confirmed based on the following microscopic measurements: 1) autofluorescence intensity and lifetime imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH); 2) production of reactive oxygen species (ROS); 3) change in mitochondrial membrane potential; 4) morphological alternation of cells; 5) imaging of phosphatidyl serine (PS) externalization by Annexin V; 6) cell viability. The present finding of nanosecond pulsed electric field-induced apoptosis and necrosis (or necroptosis) in subtypes of breast cancerous cells provides valuable information that the mechanism of field-induced cell death depends on the subtype of cancerous cells. It will be helpful for further development and optimization of field-induced cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133199
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Volume378
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Cancer Cells
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field
  • Necroptosis

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