The cellular response to subtle membrane damage following exposure to nanosecond electric pulses (nsEP) is not well
understood. Recent work has shown that when cells are exposed to nsEP, ion permeable nanopores (< 2nm) are created
in the plasma membrane in contrast to larger diameter pores (> 2nm) created by longer micro and millisecond duration
pulses. Macroscopic damage to a plasma membrane by a micropipette has been shown to cause internal vesicles
(lysosomes) to undergo exocytosis to repair membrane damage, a calcium mediated process called lysosomal exocytosis.
Formation of large pores in the plasma membrane by electrical pulses has been shown to elicit lysosomal exocytosis in a
variety of cell types. Our research objective is to determine whether lysosomal exocytosis will occur in response to
nanopores formed by exposure to nsEP. In this paper we used propidium iodide (PI) and Calcium Green-1 AM ester
(CaGr) to differentiate between large and small pores formed in CHO-K1 cells following exposure to either 1 or 20, 600-ns duration electrical pulses at 16.2 kV/cm. This information was compared to changes in membrane organization
observed by increases in FM1-43 fluorescence, both in the presence and absence of calcium ions in the outside buffer. In
addition, we monitored the real time migration of lysosomes within the cell using Cellular Lights assay to tag LAMP-1,
a lysosomal membrane protein. Both 1 and 20 pulses elicited a large influx of extracellular calcium, while little PI
uptake was observed following a single pulse exposure. Statistically significant increases in FM1-43 fluorescence were
seen in samples containing calcium suggesting that calcium-triggered membrane repair may be occurring. Lastly,
density of lysosomes within cells, specifically around the nucleus, appeared to change rapidly upon nsEP stimulation
suggesting lysosomal migration.