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Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jan 3;19(1). pii: E139. doi: 10.3390/s19010139.

Extracellular Electrophysiology in the Prostate Cancer Cell Model PC-3.

Author information

1
Department of Electronic Engineering, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, University of Seville, 41004 Seville, Spain. mcabellov@gte.esi.us.es.
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. H.Ge@bath.ac.uk.
3
Department of Electronic Engineering, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, University of Seville, 41004 Seville, Spain. caracil@gte.esi.us.es.
4
Centre for Biosensors, Bioelectronics and Biodevices (C3Bio), Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. D.Moschou@bath.ac.uk.
5
Centre for Biosensors, Bioelectronics and Biodevices (C3Bio), Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. P.Estrela@bath.ac.uk.
6
Department of Electronic Engineering, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, University of Seville, 41004 Seville, Spain. quero@us.es.
7
Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. S.Pascu@bath.ac.uk.
8
Centre for Biosensors, Bioelectronics and Biodevices (C3Bio), Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. P.Rocha@bath.ac.uk.

Abstract

Although prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the male population, its basic biological function at a cellular level remains to be fully understood. This lack of in depth understanding of its physiology significantly hinders the development of new, targeted and more effective treatment strategies. Whilst electrophysiological studies can provide in depth analysis, the possibility of recording electrical activity in large populations of non-neuronal cells remains a significant challenge, even harder to address in the picoAmpere-range, which is typical of cellular level electrical activities. In this paper, we present the measurement and characterization of electrical activity of populations of prostate cancer cells PC-3, demonstrating for the first time a meaningful electrical pattern. The low noise system used comprises a multi-electrode array (MEA) with circular gold electrodes on silicon oxide substrates. The extracellular capacitive currents present two standard patterns: an asynchronous sporadic pattern and a synchronous quasi-periodic biphasic spike pattern. An amplitude of ±150 pA, a width between 50⁻300 ms and an inter-spike interval around 0.5 Hz characterize the quasi-periodic spikes. Our experiments using treatment of cells with Gd³⁺, known as an inhibitor for the Ca²⁺ exchanges, suggest that the quasi-periodic signals originate from Ca²⁺ channels. After adding the Gd³⁺ to a population of living PC-3 cells, their electrical activity considerably decreased; once the culture was washed, thus eliminating the Gd³⁺ containing medium and addition of fresh cellular growth medium, the PC-3 cells recovered their normal electrical activity. Cellular viability plots have been carried out, demonstrating that the PC-3 cells remain viable after the use of Gd³⁺, on the timescale of this experiment. Hence, this experimental work suggests that Ca²⁺ is significantly affecting the electrophysiological communication pattern among PC-3 cell populations. Our measuring platform opens up new avenues for real time and highly sensitive investigations of prostate cancer signalling pathways.

KEYWORDS:

PC-3 cells; calcium channel inhibitor; electrical activity; prostate cancer signalling

PMID:
30609788
PMCID:
PMC6339143
DOI:
10.3390/s19010139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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