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Scientific Reports








We demonstrate that conditioning of mammalian cells by electroporation with nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) facilitates their response to the next nsPEF treatment. The experiments were designed to unambiguously separate the electroporation-induced sensitization and desensitization effects. Electroporation was achieved by bursts of 300-ns, 9 kV/cm pulses (50 Hz, n = 3–100) and quantified by propidium dye uptake within 11 min after the nsPEF exposure. We observed either sensitization to nsPEF or no change (when the conditioning was either too weak or too intense, or when the wait time after conditioning was too short). Within studied limits, conditioning never caused desensitization. With settings optimal for sensitization, the second nsPEF treatment became 2.5 times (25 °C) or even 6 times (37 °C) more effective than the same nsPEF treatment delivered without conditioning. The minimum wait time required for sensitization development was 30 s, with still longer delays increasing the effect. We show that the delayed hypersensitivity was not mediated by either cell swelling or oxidative effect of the conditioning treatment; biological mechanisms underlying the delayed electrosensitization remain to be elucidated. Optimizing nsPEF delivery protocols to induce sensitization can reduce the dose and adverse side effects of diverse medical treatments which require multiple pulse applications.

Original Publication Citation

Jensen, S. D., Khorokhorina, V. A., Muratori, C., Pakhomov, A. G., & Pakhomova, O. N. (2017). Delayed hypersensitivity to nanosecond pulsed electric field in electroporated cells. Scientific Reports, 7, 10992. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10825-w


0000-0003-4950-4130 (Pakhomova)