Cytolytic activity of Met-enkephalin, an endogenous opioid peptide, was studied within the 10-7-10-17M concentration range in K562 human erythroid leukemia cells. Cytolytic activity was determined by the trypan blue inclusion method after 13, 15 and 18 h of Met-enkephalin co-incubation with target cells. Discrete maxima of cytolytic activity were detected at concentrations of 10-9-10-10, 10-13and 10-15M. Cytolysis was accompanied by internucleosomal DNA fragmentation which is indicative of the mechanism of cell death being apoptosis.
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