Dielectrophoretic analysis of changes in cytoplasmic ion levels due to ion channel blocker action reveals underlying differences between drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant leukaemic cells

L. Duncan, H. Shelmerdine, M. P. Hughes, H. M. Coley, Y. Hübner, F. H. Labeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) - the motion of particles in non-uniform AC fields - has been used in the investigation of cell electrophysiology. The technique offers the advantages of rapid determination of the conductance and capacitance of membrane and cytoplasm. However, it is unable to directly determine the ionic strengths of individual cytoplasmic ions, which has potentially limited its application in assessing cell composition. In this paper, we demonstrate how dielectrophoresis can be used to investigate the cytoplasmic ion composition by using ion channel blocking agents. By blocking key ion transporters individually, it is possible to determine their overall contribution to the free ions in the cytoplasm. We use this technique to evaluate the relative contributions of chloride, potassium and calcium ions to the cytoplasmic conductivities of drug sensitive and resistant myelogenous leukaemic (K562) cells in order to determine the contributions of individual ion channel activity in mediating multi-drug resistance in cancer. Results indicate that whilst K+ and Ca2+ levels were extremely similar between sensitive and resistant lines, levels of Cl- were elevated by three times to that in the resistant line, implying increased chloride channel activity. This result is in line with current theories of MDR, and validates the use of ion channel blockers with DEP to investigate ion channel function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N1-N7
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 21 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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