Electromagnetic fields induce neural differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells via ROS mediated EGFR activation

Jeong-Eun Park, Young-Kwon Seo, Hee-Hoon Yoon, Chan-Wha Kim, Jung-Keug Park, Songhee Jeon
Neurochemistry International 2013, 62 (4): 418-24
Even though the inducing effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the neural differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) is a distinctive, the underlying mechanism of differentiation remains unclear. To find out the signaling pathways involved in the neural differentiation of BM-MSCs by EMF, we examined the CREB phosphorylation and Akt or ERK activation as an upstream of CREB. In hBM-MSCs treated with ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 1 mT), the expression of neural markers such as NF-L, MAP2, and NeuroD1 increased at 6 days and phosphorylation of Akt and CREB but not ERK increased at 90 min in BM-MSCs. Moreover, EMF increased phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as an upstream receptor tyrosine kinase of PI3K/Akt at 90 min. It has been well documented that ELF-MF exposure may alter cellular processes by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentrations. Thus, we examined EMF-induced ROS production in BM-MSCs. Moreover, pretreatment with a ROS scavenger, N-acetylcystein, and an EGFR inhibitor, AG-1478, prevented the phosphorylation of EGFR and downstream molecules. These results suggest that EMF induce neural differentiation through activation of EGFR signaling and mild generation of ROS.

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