3 years ago

DMSO Chemically Alters Cell Membranes to Slow Exocytosis and Increase the Fraction of Partial Transmitter Released

DMSO Chemically Alters Cell Membranes to Slow Exocytosis and Increase the Fraction of Partial Transmitter Released
Johan Dunevall, Jelena Lovric, Soodabeh Majdi, Neda Najafinobar, Andrew G. Ewing
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is frequently used as a solvent in biological studies and as a vehicle for drug therapy; but the side effects of DMSO, especially on the cell environment, are not well understood, and controls with DMSO are not neutral at higher concentrations. Herein, electrochemical measurement techniques are applied to show that DMSO increases exocytotic neurotransmitter release, while leaving vesicular contents unchanged. In addition, the kinetics of release from DMSO-treated cells are faster than that of untreated ones. The results suggest that DMSO has a significant influence on the chemistry of the cell membrane, leading to alteration of exocytosis. A speculative chemical mechanism of the effect on the fusion pore during exocytosis is presented. Permitting neurotransmitter passage: Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is commonly used in biological studies and as a vehicle for drug delivery. This study shows that DMSO chemically affects the permeability of cell membranes and possibly alters proteins involved in opening or closing pores during vesicle fusion, leading to a larger fraction of catecholamine being released from each vesicle.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201700410

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