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J Immunol. 1990 Sep 1;145(5):1545-50.

Responses of mouse lymphocytes to extracellular ATP. II. Extracellular ATP causes cell type-dependent lysis and DNA fragmentation.

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  • 1Institute of Oncology, Inter-University Center for Cancer Research (CIRC), Padova, Italy.


Extracellular ATP (ATPo) caused dose-dependent lysis of YAC-1 and P-815 mouse tumor cells. This event, assessed by 51Cr release, was accompanied by sustained depolarization of the plasma membrane potential and Ca2+ influx. Plasma membrane depolarization and Ca2+ influx occurred within a few seconds of ATPo addition to both cell types, whereas 51Cr was released without apparent lag in YAC-1 cells and after 2 h in P-815 cells. Furthermore, a rise in [Ca2+]i was required for ATPo-dependent lysis of YAC-1 but not P-815 cells. In P-815 cells, ATPo caused an early and [Ca2+]i-independent DNA fragmentation that occurred at lower nucleotide concentrations than those required to trigger 51Cr release. Instead in YAC-1 cells very low concentrations of ATPo caused early lysis (ED50 for lysis about 200 microM) accompanied by only barely detectable DNA fragmentation. Previous studies disclosed that lymphokine-activated killer cells are fully resistant to the membrane-perturbing effects of ATPo. We show that lymphokine-activated killer cells also do not undergo DNA fragmentation even in the presence of high ATPo concentrations. This study complements previous observations on the lytic effects of ATPo and shows that this nucleotide can also cause DNA fragmentation, one of the earliest target cell alterations observed during CTL-mediated lysis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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