- NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma is applicable to living cells and has emerged as a novel technology for cancer therapy. Plasma has recently been shown to affect cells not only by direct irradiation, but also by indirect treatments with previously prepared plasma-activated medium (PAM). Iron is an indispensable element but is also potentially toxic because it generates the hydroxyl radical ((OH)-O-center dot) in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) via the Fenton reaction. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the contribution of iron to PAM-induced A549 adenocarcinoma cell apoptosis. We detected the generation of (OH)-O-center dot and elevation of intracellular ferrous ions in PAM-treated cells and found that they were inhibited by iron chelator. The elevations observed in ferrous ions may have been due to their release from the intracellular iron store, ferritin. Hydroxyl radical-induced DNA injury was followed by the activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, depletion of NAD(+) and ATP, and elevations in intracellular Ca2+. The sensitivities of normal cells such as smooth muscle cells and keratinocytes to PAM were less than that of A549 cells. These results demonstrated that H2O2 in PAM and/or (OH)-O-center dot generated in the presence of iron ions disturbed the mitochondrial-nuclear network in cancer cells.
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