Jun 8 – 10, 2021
Europe/Rome timezone

Real-time detection of quantal dopamine release from single cells stimulated by X-ray irradiation

Jun 9, 2021, 12:20 PM
Contribution type Session


Federico Picollo (University of Torino)


Ionizing radiation is an effective tool employed in cancer therapy and recent technological developments have led radiotherapy to a high level of accuracy. Beyond targeted effects, many studies have also highlighted the importance of off-target consequences of ionizing radiation, such as the bystander and abscopal effects [1]. Several mechanisms have been identified for the propagation of radiation effects out of the irradiated region [2-3]. However, a complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying both effects is still missing and no real-time data about signals released by cells during irradiation are presently available. Here we show the real-time simultaneous measurement of both incoming X-rays and neurotransmitter release in vitro from individual adrenal phaeochromocytoma (PC12) cells plated over a diamond based multi-electrode array and exposed to a synchrotron X ray nano-beam. Beyond identifying the critical doses corresponding to instantaneous death of individual cells, we have shown that, in specific conditions, X-rays are able to alter PC12 cell activity by promoting dopamine exocytosis, which so far was not considered as associated to X-ray irradiation [4]. Since dopamine affects tumour growth by inhibiting angiogenesis but cannot be injected at the systemic level because of its toxicity [5], further studies about the possibility to locally stimulate dopaminergic cells via X-ray irradiation should be considered as potentially attractive for a better treatment of tumours.

[1] J-P, Pouget, J.-P., Antioxid. Redox Signal. 29, 1447–1487 (2018)
[2] E. Azzam, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 98, 473–478 (2001).
[3] C. Mothersill, Radiat. Res. 149, 256 (1998).
[4] M. Peters. Drug Resist. Updat. 17, 96–104 (2014).
[5] F. Picollo, et al., Nano Lett. 20, 20, 3889(2020).

Primary authors

Federico Picollo (University of Torino) Pietro Aprà (University of Torino) Dr Valentina Bonino (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) Prof. Valentina Carabelli (University of Torino) Dr Lorenzo Mino (University of Torino) Prof. Paolo Olivero (University of Torino) Dr Alberto Pasquarelli (University of Ulm) Mr Giulia Tomagra (Univesity of Torino) Dr Marco Truccato (University of Torino) Mr Veronica Varzi (University of Torino)

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