The Journal of membrane biology

2-NBDG, a fluorescent analogue of glucose, as a marker for detecting cell electropermeabilization in vitro.

PMID 22886206


This study investigated whether molecules spontaneously transported inside cells, like glucose derivatives, can also be used as electropermeabilization markers. Uptake of a fluorescent deoxyglucose derivative (2-NBDG) by normal and electropermeabilized cells in culture was analyzed. 2-NBDG was added to DC-3F cell suspensions and cells, exposed or not to eight square-wave electric pulses of 100-μs duration and of appropriate field amplitude at a repetition frequency of 1 Hz or 5 kHz, were incubated at 37 °C. 2-NBDG uptake was temperature-, concentration- and time-dependent in cells submitted or not to the electric pulses. In spite of significant uptake of 2-NBDG mediated by GLUT transporters into nonpermeabilized cells, the electric pulses significantly increased about ten to hundred times the 2-NBDG uptake into the cells. The increase in the field amplitude from 900 to 1,500 V/cm resulted in a progressive increase of 2-NDBG. Our results show that under the conditions of in vivo exposure duration to FDG and the physiological concentration of D-glucose, electric pulses increased 2-NBDG uptake into electropermeabilized cells. Under our experimental conditions, the percentage of permeabilized cells within the population of cells exposed to electric pulses remained at the same level regardless of the pulse frequency used, 1 Hz or 5 kHz. The findings showed that glucose derivatives can also be used to detect electropermeabilized cells exposed to electric pulses.