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2004 | 51 | 2 | 539-544
Article title

Differentiated Paju cells have increased resistance to toxic effects of potassium ionophores.

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In this study we have investigated the impact of differentiation of neuronal cells on their sensitivity to microbial toxins. We used the human neural crest-derived tumor cell line Paju, which can be induced to differentiation in vitro by treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. Addition of the highly toxic potassium ionophores cereulide (4.5 and 9.0 ng/ml) or valinomycin (20 ng/ml), to cultures of undifferentiated Paju cells caused collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential - measured with the fluorescent probe 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetrabenzimidazole carbocyanine iodide (JC-1) followed by detachment of the cells and their apoptotic death. After induced differentiation of the Paju cells, their mitochondria retained the membrane potential upon exposure to the toxins and the cells displayed increased resistance to apoptosis as compared with undifferentiated cells. This effect may be caused by an elevated expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and of the neuroprotective factor, stanniocalcin, in differentiated cells.
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