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Exp Cell Res. 1990 Jul;189(1):64-8.

The influence of ethanol on cell membrane fluidity, migration, and invasion of murine melanoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Loyola University of Chicago, Maywood, Illinois 60153.


The short-term effects of ethanol (85.4, 170.8, and 256.2 mM) on cellular viability, proliferation, migration, and invasion were investigated on murine melanoma cells. Experiments with the fluorescent probe 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene indicated that the two highest concentrations of ethanol induced low microviscosity (high lipid fluidity). Cellular viability and proliferation, as determined by the incorporation of [3H]IdUR, were unaffected by all three concentrations of ethanol. A membrane migration assay and a collagen type IV invasion assay evaluated cellular migration and invasion, respectively. For B16F10 and K1735 cells, the migration rate was significantly increased by 170.8 and 256.2 mM concentrations of ethanol. Although the invasion of B16F10 cells was not affected, invasion of K1735 cells was inhibited by 170.8 and 256.2 mM ethanol. The effect of ethanol on the cytoskeleton was monitored by fluorescent staining of F-actin. In contrast to untreated cells, F-actin staining of 256.2 mM ethanol-treated cells showed spike-like projections from the cell surface. Our findings suggest that ethanol can influence cell migration and invasion in vitro, as well as F-actin organization.

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