Effect of membrane and cytoskeleton modification on the heat response of BP-8 murine sarcoma cells

K. G. Hofer, Nahid F. Mivechi, Maria G. Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells subjected to hyperthermia in the presence of glycerol exhibit greatly enhanced resistance to thermal death. The mechanisms responsible for this effect remain unknown, but it has been suggested that glycerol may act by stabilizing cell membranes or by preventing heat induced disruption of cytoskeletal networks. To test these hypotheses, BP-8 murine sarcoma cells were treated with various combinations of glycerol, procaine, colcemid, and cytochalasin B, followed by 1 hour in vitro heating at temperatures ranging from 37°C to 45.5°C. After heating, the tumor cells were inoculated intraperitoneally into mice and cell survival was evaluated in vivo with the125I-iododeoxyuridine prelabeling assay. Addition of 5% glycerol to the incubation medium caused a pronounced increase in the heat resistance of BP-8 cells. Exposure to colcemid (microtubule disrupting agent) or cytochalasin B (micro-filament disrupting agent) did not influence the thermal response of control cells, nor did it counteract the protective effects of glycerol. This suggests that the ability of heat to dissociate cytoskeletal networks may not be an important factor in cellular heat death. In contrast, treatment with the membrane modulator procaine induced significant thermal sensitization in control cells, and caused a complete reversal of the protective action of glycerol. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that membranes play an important role in the genesis of cellular heat death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cell death
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Hyperthermia
  • Membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of membrane and cytoskeleton modification on the heat response of BP-8 murine sarcoma cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this