Wide applicability of a flow cytometric assay to measure absolute membrane potentials on the millivolt scale

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Abstract

To prove the general applicability of a recently published flow cytometric method to determine the membrane potentials of cells on the absolute (mV) scale, the validity of the premises involved were analyzed individually. Experimental evidence was given for bis-oxonol, the applied membrane potential indicator being a Nernstian dye. The results of special measurements proved that extracellular dye concentrations were not affected by cellular dye uptake under the applied experimental conditions and that the dye content of the suspending medium did not contribute directly to the measured cellular fluorescence. A direct, membrane-potential-independent contribution of the extracellular dye to cellular fluorescence was also found to be negligible, as membrane potential values of the same type of cells evaluated from measurements in the presence of different extracellular oxonol concentrations were very close to each other. The transmembrane potential of B lymphoid JY cells was measured by the method as a function of cell density in the tissue culture. Cells isolated during the log phase of growth displayed a -40±4 mV membrane potential. At a high density of the culture (plateau phase), a significant increase of the membrane potential to -61±3 mV was observed and a medium value of -47±3.5 mV was measured at an intermediate density of the cells. Our observation indicates that nonadherent cells can also be hyperpolarized when optimal growth conditions are terminated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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Membrane Potentials
Coloring Agents
Cell Count
Fluorescence
Growth
Observation
Lymphocytes

Keywords

  • Absolute membrane potential
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

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abstract = "To prove the general applicability of a recently published flow cytometric method to determine the membrane potentials of cells on the absolute (mV) scale, the validity of the premises involved were analyzed individually. Experimental evidence was given for bis-oxonol, the applied membrane potential indicator being a Nernstian dye. The results of special measurements proved that extracellular dye concentrations were not affected by cellular dye uptake under the applied experimental conditions and that the dye content of the suspending medium did not contribute directly to the measured cellular fluorescence. A direct, membrane-potential-independent contribution of the extracellular dye to cellular fluorescence was also found to be negligible, as membrane potential values of the same type of cells evaluated from measurements in the presence of different extracellular oxonol concentrations were very close to each other. The transmembrane potential of B lymphoid JY cells was measured by the method as a function of cell density in the tissue culture. Cells isolated during the log phase of growth displayed a -40±4 mV membrane potential. At a high density of the culture (plateau phase), a significant increase of the membrane potential to -61±3 mV was observed and a medium value of -47±3.5 mV was measured at an intermediate density of the cells. Our observation indicates that nonadherent cells can also be hyperpolarized when optimal growth conditions are terminated.",
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AU - Balkay, L.

AU - Krasznai, Z.

AU - Trón, L.

AU - Márián, T.

PY - 1998

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