The issue of how polyamines act to sensitize-cultured cells to the effects of hyperthermia was investigated using Chinese hamster cells which were induced to express thermotolerance. Intracellular levels of these naturally occurring polycations were manipulated in certain situations by treating whole cells with methylglyoxal bis-(guanylhydrazone), an inhibitor of the S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylases. Exogenous spermine as low as 100 μM in the culture media dramatically sensitized cells expressing thermotolerance to the lethal effects of subsequent 42°C exposures. When thermotolerance was differentially induced in cultures exposed to 42.4°C by varying the rate of heating from 37 to 42.4°C, the most resistant cells had the highest levels of intracellular spermidine and spermine. This finding was explainable in part by the observation that the putrescine-dependent S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase activity was minimally affected in cells expressing the greatest degree of thermotolerance. When this enzyme activity was inhibited by drug, lowered intracellular polyamine levels did not correspond with subsequent survival responses to heat. Interestingly, cultures treated with methylglyoxal bis-(guanylhydrazone) 24 hr previous to heat exposure showed a reduced capacity to express rate of heating-induced thermotolerance. Together, these results demonstrate that the polyamines, especially spermidine and spermine, enhance hyperthermia-induced cell killing by some mechanism involving the plasma membrane. Further, our data suggest that methylglyoxal bis-(guanylhydrazone) can act to affect thermal responses by a mechanism(s) other than modification of intracellular polyamine levels.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 1983|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging