Study on the mechanisms underlying the biological effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMFS) on a fibroblast model.

E. Sereni, P. Faraoni, A. Gnerucci, F. Cialdai, M. Monici, F. Ranaldi
Energy for Health [17], 2018

In the last decades, electromagnetotherapy generated an intense interest for the medical treatment of some pathological states related to the musculoskeletal system. In particular, extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are used to improve tissue regeneration in bone nonunion fractures, to facilitate skin wound healing and to reduce pain symptomatology.
This therapy represents a valid and noninvasive approach widely used to treat the area of interest limiting the adverse effects related to drug administration. The molecular mechanisms by which ELF EMFs act on cell behavior is still not completely known, but numerous and heterogeneous effects have been observed on a very large number of biological processes. These effects vary in relation to the treatment parameters and intrinsic susceptibility of specific cell lines.
In order to study the molecular mechanism by which ELF EMFs act on fibroblasts, the mouse-derived NIH3T3 cell line was chosen as the experimental model to carry out some biochemical investigations. After EMF exposure, the cells showed an increased level of ROS and a decreasing activity of the enzyme pyruvate kinase (PK), leading to a slowdown of the glycolytic flux and a redirection of glycolytic metabolites towards the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP).
Hence, the results of the study define a coherent biochemical mechanism by which ELF EMFs are able to promote a shift of cell metabolism from catabolic to anabolic processes. Additional investigations such as the evaluation of reduced glutathione levels, are however necessary to confirm the mechanism.