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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2016, Volume 10, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11684-016-0456-9

Influence of the intensity and loading time of direct current electric field on the directional migration of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

1. Department of Stomatology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.

2. Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Available online: 2016-08-30

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Exogenic electric fields can effectively accelerate bone healing and remodeling through the enhanced migration of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) toward the injured area. This study aimed to determine the following: (1) the direction of rat BMSC (rBMSC) migration upon exposure to a direct current electric field (DCEF), (2) the optimal DCEF intensity and duration, and (3) the possible regulatory role of SDF-1/CXCR4 axis in rBMSC migration as induced by DCEF. Results showed that rBMSCs migrated to the positive electrode of the DCEF, and that the DCEF of 200 mV/mm for 4 h was found to be optimal in enhancing rBMSC migration. This DCEF strength and duration also upregulated the expression of osteoblastic genes, including ALP and OCN, and upregulated the expression of ALP and Runx2 proteins. Moreover, when CXCR4 was inhibited, rBMSC migration due to DCEF was partially blocked. These findings indicated that DCEF can effectively induce rBMSC migration. A DCEF of 200 mV/mm for 4 h was recommended because of its ability to promote rBMSC migration, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation. The SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway may play an important role in regulating the DCEF-induced migration of rBMSCs.

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