||Health Effects Research Lab., Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Northrop Services, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Lab., Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
Flow cytometric and light/fluorescence microscopic analyses indicate that tributyltin (TBT) alters the plasma membrane/cytoplasm complex of the murine erythroleukemic cell (MELC) in a dose dependent and time-dependent manner. The flow cytometric parameter axial light loss, a measure of cell volume, decreases in cells exposed to 5 microM TBT relative to control cells or cells exposed to 50 microM TBT. The flow cytometric parameter 90 deg light scatter, a function of refractive index and a measure of protein content, increases as a function of TBT concentration above 0.5 microM, but less than 50 microM DNA distribution across the cell cycle cannot be resolved adequately by flow cytometry. Also, the cells become resistant to solubilization of the cell membrane/cytoplasm complex by nonionic detergents. Relative to logarithmically growing cells, MELC in the stationary phase of the growth cycle and butyric acid-differentiated cells exhibit decreased plasma membrane permeability resulting in increased carboxyfluorescein (CF) retention derived from the intracellular hydrolysis of carboxyfluorescein diacetate (CFDA). Similarly, cells exposed to TBT concentrations below 50 microM exhibit increased cellular CF retention. Viability in terms of CFDA hydrolysis/CF retention and propidium iodide (PI) exclusion is not decreased by exposure to TBT concentrations below 1 microM. At doses between 5 and 50 microM, however, cells exhibit both CF and PI fluorescence simultaneously and are programmed for death.