Public Library of Science
Control of stem cell migration and differentiation is vital for efficient stem cell therapy. Literature reporting electric field–guided migration and differentiation is emerging. However, it is unknown if a field that causes cell migration is also capable of guiding cell differentiation— and the mechanisms for these processes remain unclear. Here, we report that a 115 V/m direct current (DC) electric field can induce directional migration of neural precursor cells (NPCs). Whole cell patching revealed that the cell membrane depolarized in the electric field, and buffering of extracellular calcium via EGTA prevented cell migration under these conditions. Immunocytochemical staining indicated that the same electric intensity could also be used to enhance differentiation and increase the percentage of cell differentiation into neurons, but not astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The results indicate that DC electric field of this specific intensity is capable of promoting cell directional migration and orchestrating functional differentiation, suggestively mediated by calcium influx during DC field exposure.
Zhao, Huiping; Steiger, Amanda; Nohner, Mitch; and Ye, Hui. Specific Intensity Direct Current (DC) Electric Field Improves Neural Stem Cell Migration and Enhances Differentiation towards βIII-Tubulin+ Neurons. PLOS One, 10, 6: 1-21, 2015. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Biology: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129625
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© Zhao et al., 2015.