Journal: Toxins (2019)
Institution: Israel Institute for Biological Research
Research Areas: Cytotoxicity
Cell Lines: HeLa, Vero (HeLa – cervical cancer cell line; Vero – african green monkey kidney epithelium cell line)
Summary: Ricin and abrin are ribosome-inactivating proteins, which can be easily and cheaply extracted, thus they can become potential biothreat agents. In this study, E. Makdasi et al. have developed a ricin and abrin activity assay based on the digital holographic microscopy (HoloMonitor M4) evaluation of cells following intoxication. Effects of ricin and abrin intoxication on cell lines were characterized by a decrease in cell confluence, reduced cell division, and smaller cell counts compared to untreated cells. Additionally, changes in cell morphology, such as decrease in cell area, perimeter, irregularity, and effective-calculated volume, and an increase in optical thickness and roughness. Authors conclude that HoloMonitor M4 can be applied for early and sensitive detection of ricin and abrin, as well as other toxins and substances, effects in cellular features upon toxin-mediated cell death processes.