Fifty-Hertz Electromagnetic Fields Facilitate the Induction of Rat Bone Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to Differentiate into Functional Neurons

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Cell cycle, Differentiation, Electromagnetic fields, Neural cells, Stem cells

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Background aims

Research results have shown that bone mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSC) can different into neural cells. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) play a role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation, but the mechanisms behind this are unknown. In the present study, we explored the efficacy of EMF on the induction of rat BMSC differentiation into neurons in vitro.


First, rat BMSC were induced in a nerve cell culture environment and divided into three groups: an EMF induction treatment group (frequency of 50 Hz, magnetic induction of 5 mT, 60 min per day for 12 days), an induction-only group and a control group. Second, we observed cell phenotypes in a confocal microscope, tested gene expression through the use of reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction, and detected postsynaptic currents by means of a cell patch-clamp. We analyzed the cell cycles and the portion of cells expressing neural cell markers with the use of flow cytometry.


The results indicated that EMF can facilitate BMSC differentiation into neural cells, which expressed neuronal-specific markers and genes; they formed synaptic junctions and pulsed excitatory postsynaptic currents. At the same time, the G0-G1 phase ratio recorded by means of flow cytometry gradually decreased under the EMF treatment, whereas there was an increase of S-phase ratio, and the portion of cells expressing neuronal-specific markers increased.


Given that a noninvasive treatment of 50-Hz EMF could significantly facilitate BMSC to differentiate into functional neurons, EMF appears to be a promising clinical option for stem cell transplantation therapies to combat central nervous system diseases.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cytotherapy, v. 15, issue 8, p. 961-970