Abstract

We investigate the activation of living monocytic U937 cells induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6) at the single cell level. We employ home-built Raman tweezers to measure the Raman spectra of living U937 cells with and without IL-6 at the single cell level. Raman peaks of amide III, amide I, DNA backbone, as well as guanine and adenine in U937 cells, change at 1312, 1652, 1090, and 1576 cm ?1, respectively, shortly after IL-6 is added in the medium. The change is a dynamic temporal process. In the activation process of U937 cells induced by IL-6, the protein signals recover in 20 min, while the nucleic acid signals continue to increase for 20 min. The results reveal that the biochemical cascades of activation in signal transduction induced by IL-6 can be investigated in situ at the single cell level.

© 2010 Chinese Optics Letters

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