Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 110, Issue 6, pp 553–558

Plasma membrane phospholipid asymmetry precedes DNA fragmentation in different apoptotic cell models

  • Andrew Chan
  • Rudolf Reiter
  • Stefan Wiese
  • Georg Fertig
  • R. Gold
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s004180050317

Cite this article as:
Chan, A., Reiter, R., Wiese, S. et al. Histochemistry (1998) 110: 553. doi:10.1007/s004180050317

Abstract

 Biochemical alterations occurring in many cell types during apoptosis include the loss of plasma membrane phospholipid asymmetry and nuclear DNA fragmentation. Annexin V staining detects phosphatidylserine translocation into the outer plasma membrane layer occurring during cell death, while the in situ tailing (IST or TUNEL) reaction labels the DNA strand breaks typical of apoptosis. To compare the time course of these processes we investigated methylprednisolone-induced apoptosis of rat thymocytes, topoisomerase inhibitor-induced apoptosis in the human histiocytic lymphoma cell line U937, and serum deprivation-induced apoptosis in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line, PC12. At all time points, FACS analysis and quantitative fluorescence light microscopy showed a higher proportion of annexin V-positive than IST-positive cells, with significantly different time courses in the apoptotic cell models investigated (Anova test). Results were confirmed by confocal microscopy. Our data indicate that the exposure of phosphatidylserine, a potential phagocyte recognition signal on the cell surface of apoptotic cells in vivo, precedes DNA strand breaks during apoptosis in different cell types.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Chan
    • 1
  • Rudolf Reiter
    • 2
  • Stefan Wiese
    • 3
  • Georg Fertig
    • 4
  • R. Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Neuroimmunology Branch and Clinical Research Group for Multiple Sclerosis, Julius-Maximilians-University, D-97080 Würzburg, Germany, e-mail: r.gold@mail.uni-wuerzburg.de, Tel.: +49-931-2015755, Fax: +49-931-2013488DE
  2. 2.Roche Diagnostics Boehringer Mannheim, D-68305 Mannheim, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Clinical Research Group for Neuroregeneration, Julius-Maximilians-University, D-97080 Würzburg, GermanyDE
  4. 4.Roche Diagnostics Boehringer Mannheim, D-82372 Penzberg/Obb., GermanyDE

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