Laser scanning analysis of cell-cell communication in cultured human prostate tumor cells

Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1999 Feb;21(1):54-8.


Objective: To investigate gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in LNCaP and DU145 human prostate cancer cells.

Study design: Normal rat liver F344 (WB1) cells were used as positive controls. Functional GJIC was inspected using either the scrape-loading/dye transfer (SL/DT) method or fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis. In the former, GJIC activity was expressed as a measure of the extent of diffusion of Lucifer Yellow after cell monolayers were scraped using a surgical blade and exposed to dye for a few minutes at room temperature. In the latter, cells were incubated for 15 minutes at 37 degrees C with 5,6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate dye and the dye transfer visualized by photobleaching individual cells with a 488-nm laser and monitoring the recovery of fluorescence using a laser cytometer.

Results: The preliminary results obtained indicate that neither LNCaP nor DU145 cells have functional GJIC, while, as expected, WB1 cells show unimpaired GJIC activity. Equivalent results were consistently obtained using either SL/DT or the FRAP approach. However, using FRAP analysis, DU145 cells only showed weak recovery of fluorescence after a total observation interval of 15 minutes.

Conclusion: The present data, though preliminary, suggest that disruption of GJIC may play a role in development of malignancy in the human prostate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Fluoresceins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Gap Junctions / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoquinolines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Isoquinolines
  • 6-carboxyfluorescein
  • lucifer yellow