Electrical Recordings from Meningioma Cells during Cytolytic Action of Antibody and Complement

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Science  08 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3793, pp. 1185-1187
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3793.1185


Resting membrane potential and total cell resistance of human meningioma cells in tissue culture have been measured with fine microelectrodes. Addition of either antiserum inactivated with heat or control serum from normal rabbits produced small depolarizations (2 to 4 millivolts) with no discernible (〈 5 percent) change in resistance. Addition of antiserums with complement, however, produced larger depolarizations and decreases in resistance before any changes in cell morphology were visible with light microscopy; as cytoplasmic swelling progressed, membrane potential dropped close to zero, and resistance decreased five- to tenfold. The electrical recording technique may be useful in the study of sublethal as well as lethal damage to immune cells and, in particular, may permit temporal resolution of damaging events and repair mechanisms in a single cell.