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Acta Biochim Pol. 2004;51(4):1023-38.

Partial characterization of human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR cells in regard to oxidative stress.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Biochemistry, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland.


Characterization of free radical-induced cell injury processes of placenta cells is of vital importance for clinical medicine for the maintenance of intrauterine fetal life. The present study has analyzed cell injury processes in cells of the choriocarcinoma cell line JAR treated with menadione, an anticancer drug, and H(2)O(2) in comparison to osteosarcoma 143B cells using electron microscopic and flow cytometric techniques. Flow cytometry on JAR cells exposed to 100 muM menadione and double-stained with Annexin V and propidium iodide (PI) detected apoptotic cells reaching the maximum after 4 h of incubation with a rapid decrease thereafter. Viable cells became decreased to 46% of the control after 2 h of incubation, reaching 5% after 4 h. Cells stainable with both Annexin V and PI began to increase distinctly after 2 h of incubation, reaching 55% after 4 h. Electron microscopy showed that cells stainable with both dyes specified above had condensed nuclei and swollen cytoplasm, suggesting that they were undergoing a switch of the cell death mode from apoptosis to necrosis. On the other hand, 90% of 143B cells remained intact after 4 h of menadione treatment although the intracellular levels of superoxide were always higher than those of JAR cells treated with the drug. In contrast, JAR cells were more resistant than 143B cells to H(2)O(2)-induced cytotoxicity. These results may suggest that cytotoxicity of menadione cannot be explained simply by oxygen free radicals generated from the drug. The resistance of JAR cells to oxygen free radical-induced cytotoxicity may be advantageous for intrauterine fetal life.

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