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Micro-organisation of the membrane after radiation-induced apoptosis: a flow cytometry study

L. Vincent-Genod, M. Benderitter, P. Voisin Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, Volume 40 Issue 3 (2001) pp 213-219

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > biological dosimetry, membranous alterations

Research Unit > IRSN/DRPH/SRBE/LDB

Authors > BENDERITTER Marc, VOISIN Philippe

Publication Date > 01/09/2001


The aim of this study was to detect membrane fluidity modifications in blood lymphocytes that had been exposed to -radiation, at a graded series of depths from the surface to the centre of the membrane bilayer and as a function of cell viability. A time course was performed to verify the contribution of the membrane to radiation-induced apoptosis. In comparison with spectrofluorimetry, flow cytometry proved to be a reliable method for measuring radiation-induced membrane alterations. Late apoptotic lymphocytes were characterised by a significant decrease of the 3-SA, 6-SA and 9-SA fluorescence anisotropy values, compared to viable lymphocytes. Moreover, a highly significant difference was observed in the early apoptotic lymphocyte subpopulation between the fluorescence anisotropy values measured 24 h (radiation-induced apoptosis) and those measured 1 h (spontaneous apoptosis) after irradiation. The simultaneous assessment of cellular viability and membrane fluidity using n-(9-anthroyloxy) fatty acid probes, may be relevant for the investigation of interactions which may exist between membrane modifications and the apoptotic process. Our observations support the specificity of radiation-induced apoptosis compared to spontaneous apoptosis in terms of biophysical modifications of membrane properties.


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