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Int J Oncol. 2012 May;40(5):1543-52. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1330. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Millimeter wave treatment induces apoptosis via activation of the mitochondrial-dependent pathway in human osteosarcoma cells.

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Academy of Integrative Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou 350108, PR China.


Millimeter wave (MW) is an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength between 1 and 10 mm and a frequency of 30-300 GHz that causes multiple biological effects and has been used as a major component in physiotherapies for the clinical treatment of various types of diseases including cancers. However, the precise molecular mechanism of the anticancer activity of millimeter wave remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the cellular effects of the MW in the U-2OS human osteosarcoma cell line. Our results showed that MW induced cell morphological changes and reduced cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner suggesting that MW inhibited the growth of U-2OS cells as demonstrated. Hoechst 33258 staining and Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining exhibited the typical nuclear features of apoptosis and increased the proportion of apoptotic Annexin V-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner, respectively. In addition, MW treatment caused loss of plasma membrane asymmetry, release of cytochrome c, collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, activation of caspase-9 and -3, and increase of the ratio of pro-apoptotic Bax to anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. Taken together, the results indicate that the U-2OS cell growth inhibitory activity of MW was due to mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis, which may partly explain the anticancer activity of millimeter wave treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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