X-Message-Number: 14800
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 11:12:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: induction of apoptosis by sorbitol

  Characterization of apoptosis induced by sorbitol: a unique system for the
  detection of antiapoptotic activities of viruses.
  Microbes & Infection.  2(6):599-606, 2000 May.
  The treatment of HEp-2 cells with sorbitol induced massive apoptosis rapidly.
  This method for inducing apoptosis is very useful to detect antiapoptotic
  activity of viruses as well as viral genes. Commitment to death occurred
  immediately upon incubation with sorbitol, even in the presence of pancaspase
  inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK. Apoptosis is also induced by other polyhydric alcohols
  with more than four hydroxyl groups, but not induced by glycerol or ethylene
  glycol. Sorbitol treatment on ice did not induce apoptosis either. These
  results suggest that this induction of apoptosis does not result simply from
  high osmotic pressure but probably by the interaction of
  solutes through their physical nature (such as
  hydrophobicity) with the plasma membrane of the cells.

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