Dimethyl sulfoxide potentiates death receptor-mediated apoptosis in the human myeloid leukemia U937 cell line through enhancement of mitochondrial membrane depolarization
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a widely used prototypical chemical inducer of cell differentiation. In the present study, the effects of DMSO on susceptibility of human myeloid leukemia U937 cells towards ligation of distinct death receptors (DRs) were investigated. DMSO sensitized cells towards induction of apoptosis by anti-Fas antibody, tumour necrosis factor-alpha or Apo2 ligand/TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Apart from increasing Fas levels, DMSO did not affect expression of proteins in death signal transduction, such as Bcl-2 family proteins, FADD, caspase-3 and -8, the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) or cFLIP(L). However, DMSO significantly potentiated mitochondrial membrane depolarization, suggesting that this mechanism might be involved in sensitisation of myeloid cells to DR-mediated apoptosis. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.