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Electropermeabilization of cell membranes by micro- and nanosecond-duration stimuli has been studied extensively, whereas effects of picosecond electric pulses (psEP) remain essentially unexplored. We utilized whole-cell patch clamp and Di-8-ANEPPS voltage-sensitive dye measurements to characterize plasma membrane effects of 500 ps stimuli in rat hippocampal neurons (RHN), NG108, and CHO cells. Even a single 500-ps pulse at 190 kV/cm increased membrane conductance and depolarized cells. These effects were augmented by applying brief psEP bursts (5-125 pulses), whereas the rate of pulse delivery (8Hz - 1 kHz) played little role. psEP-treated cells displayed large inward current at negative membrane potentials but modest or no conductance changes at positive potentials. A 1-kHz burst of 25 pulses increased the whole-cell conductance in the range (-100) - (-60) mV to 22-26 nS in RHN and NG108 cells (from 3 and 0.7 nS, respectively), but only to 5 nS in CHO (from 0.3 nS). The conductance increase was reversible within about 2 min. Such pattern of cell permeabilization, with characteristic inward rectification and slow recovery, was similar to earlier reported effects of 60- and 600-ns pulses, pointing to the similarity of structural membrane rearrangements in spite of a different membrane charging mechanism.
Authors : Semenov Iurii , Xiao Shu , Pakhomov Andrei G ,
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