Original Articles

Apoptosis and necrosis induced by sulfur mustard in Hela cells

Jun Sun, Yu-xia Wang, Man-ji Sun


To study the apoptotic effect of sulfur mustard (SM) on Hela cells.
Exponentially growing Hela cells were treated with SM at various concentrations for 3 h, then apoptosis was examined by electron-microscope, DNA gel electrophoresis, and flow cytometry.
SM 1 mumol.L-1 arrested cell growth. After treatment with SM 10-100 mumol.L-1, cells were mainly blocked at G1-phase with apoptosis. Agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA from cells treated with SM revealed ""DNA Ladder."" About 33% of the Hela cells showed apoptosis 12 h after 3-h treatment with SM 100 mumol.L-1 as determined by flow cytometry and the S-phase cells were more susceptible. However, SM 1000 mumol.L-1 caused marked necrosis in Hela cells.
SM caused 2 distinct forms of cell death, apoptosis or necrosis, in Hela cells in a concentration-dependent manner.

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