Oscillations of ultra-weak photon emission from cancer and noncancer cells stressed by culture medium change and TNF-alfa, 2017

Topics: ultraweak photon emission, biophoton, cancer

Authors: Pierre Madl, Thomas Verwanger, Mark Geppert and Felix Scholkmann


Cells spontaneously emit photons in the UV to visible/near-infrared range (ultra-weak photon emission, UPE). Perturbations of the cells’ state cause changes in UPE (evoked UPE). The aim of the present study was to analyze the evoked UPE dynamics of cells caused by two types of cell perturbations (stressors): (i) a cell culture medium change, and (ii) application of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Four types of human cell lines were used (squamous cell carcinoma cells, A431; adenocarcinomic alveolar basal epithelial cells, A549; p53-deficient keratinocytes, HaCaT, and cervical cancer cells, HeLa). In addition to the medium change, TNF-α was applied at different concentrations (5, 10, 20, and 40 ng/mL) and UPE measurements were performed after incubation times of 0, 30, 60, 90 min, 2, 5, 12, 24, 48 h. It was observed that (i) the change of cell culture medium (without added TNF-α) induces a cell type-specific transient increase in UPE with the largest UPE increase observed in A549 cells, (ii) the addition of TNF-α induces a cell type-specific and dose-dependent change in UPE, and (iii) stressed cell cultures in general exhibit oscillatory UPE changes.

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