Cell Death Parameters as Revealed by Whole-Cell Patch-Clamp and Interval Weighted Spectra Averaging: Changes in Membrane Properties and Current Frequency of Cultured Mouse Microglial Cells Induced by Glutaraldehyde
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The physiological and biochemical factors that lead to cell death have not been recognized completely. To our knowledge, there are no data on the bioelectric parameters that characterize early period of cell death, as well as on the appearance of related membrane current frequencies. We studied early parameters of glutaraldehyde (GA)-induced cell death, by examining the membrane properties of mouse microglia using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. In addition, we investigated the GA-induced changes in the membrane current frequency, to see if characteristic frequencies would appear in dying cell. For data analysis, we applied a new approach, an improved multiple moving window length analysis and interval weighted spectra averaging (IWSA). We chose GA for its ability to induce almost instantaneous cell death. The 0.6 \% GA did not induce changes in the bioelectric membrane properties of microglia. However, the 3 \% GA caused significant decrease of membrane capacitance and resistance accompanied by the prominent increase in the membrane currents and nearly ohmic current response of microglial cells. These data indicate that 3 \% GA caused complete loss of the membrane function consequently inducing instantaneous cell death. The membrane function loss was characterized by appearance of the 1.26-4.62 Hz frequency peak in the IWSA spectra, while no significant increase of amplitudes could be observed for cells treated with 0.6 \% GA. To our knowledge, this is the first record of a frequency associated with complete loss of the membrane function and thus can be considered as an early indicator of cell death.