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Cell Tissue Kinet. 1986 May;19(3):311-24.

Kinetic and physical studies of cell death induced by chemotherapeutic agents or hyperthermia.


The kinetics of three physical parameters: cell density, relative cytoplasmic viscosity and DNA stability to denaturation have been measured during the period preceding cell death induced by hyperthermia, methylprednisolone and a series of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. This series of measurements employed cultured human lymphoblastoid cells as an experimental system to establish the changes that can be observed in the early stages of cell death, prior to applying such measurements to tissue biopsies from solid human tumours. Cell death, induced by hyperthermia up to 43 degrees C, methylprednisolone, vincristine, 5-fluorouracil, BCNU and melphalan, showed essentially identical and reproducible changes corresponding to those which characterize programmed cell death (apoptosis). Such changes could also be observed following hyperthermia above 43 degrees C, but reproducibility was poor and increasing damage to the cell membranes was evident. In cells treated with adriamycin or methotrexate, cell sub-populations showing an increase in cell density were not detected. Measurements of DNA stability were readily performed by flow cytofluorometry thus allowing rapid quantitation of the fraction of cells in the early stages of cell death. Modified flow cytometric instrumentation would further allow measurement of cytoplastic viscosity as an additional parameter to indicate entry into programmed cell death. This suggests that these measurements could readily be applied to cell suspensions derived from tumour tissue biopsies for a more accurate assessment of tumour growth rate, and to allow monitoring of response to therapy in sequential tumour biopsies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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