ATM splicing variants as biomarkers for low dose dexamethasone treatment of A-T
Ataxia telangiectasia is a rare genetic disease and no therapy is currently available. Glucocorticoid analogues have been shown to improve the neurological symptoms of treated patients. In the present study ataxia telangiectasia and wild type cells were used as a cellular model and treated with dexamethasone. The cells were subsequently investigated for membrane and whole cell mechanical properties by atomic force microscopy. In addition, cytoskeleton protein dynamics and nuclear shapes were assayed by fluorescence microscopy, while western blots were used to assess actin and tubulin content. At the macro level, dexamethasone directly modified the cell shape, Young’s modulus and cytoskeleton protein dynamics. At the nano level, the roughness of the cell surface and the local nano-mechanical proprieties were found to be affected by Dexa. Our results show that ataxia telangiectasia and wild type cells are affected by Dexa, although there are dissimilarities in some macro-level and nano-level features between the tested cell lines. The Young’s modulus of the cells appears to depend mainly on nuclear shape, with a slight contribution from the tested cytoskeleton proteins. The current study proposes that dexamethasone influences ataxia telangiectasia cell membranes contents, cell components and cell shape.