, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 749–755 | Cite as

Apoptosis induced kinetic changes in autofluorescence of cultured HL60 cells-possible application for single cell analysis on chip

  • F. Wolbers
  • H. Andersson
  • A. van den Berg
  • I. Vermes


Introduction: This paper presents a new method using natural cellular fluorescence (autofluorescence, AF) to study apoptosis. Measurement of AF reduces sample preparation time and avoids cellular toxicity due to the fact that no labelling is required.

Methods: Human promyelocytic leukemic HL60 cells were incubated with camptothecin (CPT), tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α in combination with cycloheximide (CHX), or irradiated with 6 or 10 Gray, during varying time periods, to initiate apoptosis. AF was measured at the flow cytometer.

Results: Induction of apoptosis results in the shrinkage of the cell and the fragmentation into apoptotic bodies. With flow cytometry, 4 subpopulations, viable, early apoptotic, late apoptotic and the necrotic cells, can be distinguished. Induction of apoptosis results in a decrease in AF intensity compared to untreated HL60 cells, especially seen in the late apoptotic subpopulation. The AF intensity is found to decrease significantly in time (between 2 h and 24 h) for all the four apoptotic inducers used.

Conclusions: Our results show that it is possible to specifically measure the apoptotic-induced kinetic changes in AF in HL60 cells. A decrease in AF intensity is seen from 2 h till 24 h. These results open a door for future developments in single-cell analysis.

apoptosis autofluorescence (AF) flow cytometry HL60 cells 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Wolbers
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Andersson
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. van den Berg
    • 2
  • I. Vermes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical ChemistryMedisch Spectrum Twente, Hospital GroupEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Sensorsystems for Biomedical and Environmental ApplicationsMESA + Institute, University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Signals, Sensors and SystemsRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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