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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Flow cytometric comparison of the effects of trialkyltins on the murine erythroleukemic cell.

Cellular effects of exposure to tributyltin (TBT), triethyltin (TET), or trimethyltin (TMT) were investigated by flow cytometry employing the murine erythroleukemic cell (MELC) as a model cellular system. Cell viability was investigated by the carboxyfluorescein diacetate (CFDA) uptake/propidium iodide (PI) exclusion method: above a critical concentration (exposure for 4 h), which was specific for each of the trialkyltin compounds, the cell becomes permeable to PI, indicating loss of viability. Cellular CF fluorescence (derived from intracellular hydrolysis of CFDA) increased as a function of alkyltin concentration below the critical concentration and decreased as viability decreased above the critical concentration. Relative membrane potential, monitored with a cyanine dye (DiOC6), correlated with viability (PI exclusion), remaining essentially unaltered below the critical concentration and decreasing above it. At/above 1 microM TBT, 5 microM TET, or 100 microM TMT, the cell cycle was blocked in the G2/M phase. The 90 degrees light scatter (a measure of refractive index), axial light loss (a measure of volume), and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) fluorescence (a measure of protein content) of nuclei isolated from trialkyltin-treated MELC by detergent treatment, increased as a function of organotin dose. Fluorescence and interference microscopy revealed increased quantities of residual cytoplasmic tags adherent to the nuclei as a function of organotin dose, apparently resulting from increased cytoplasmic resistance to detergent-mediated solubilization. The effects of the trialkyltins correlated with their lipophilicity (octanol/water coefficient). These data support the hypothesis that fixation (protein denaturation, cross-linking, etc.) is an important mode of organotin cytotoxicity.[1]


  1. Flow cytometric comparison of the effects of trialkyltins on the murine erythroleukemic cell. Zucker, R.M., Elstein, K.H., Easterling, R.E., Massaro, E.J. Toxicology (1989) [Pubmed]
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