Differentiation of human adult cardiac stem cells exposed to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields

Roberto Gaetani, Mario Ledda, Lucio Barile, Isotta Chimenti, Flavia De Carlo, Elvira Forte, Vittoria Ionta, Livio Giuliani, Enrico D'Emilia, Giacomo Frati, Fabio Miraldi, Deleana Pozzi, Elisa Messina, Settimio Grimaldi, Alessandro Giacomello, Antonella Lisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AimsModulation of cardiac stem cell (CSC) differentiation with minimal manipulation is one of the main goals of clinical applicability of cell therapy for heart failure. CSCs, obtained from human myocardial bioptic specimens and grown as cardiospheres (CSps) and cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs), can engraft and partially regenerate the infarcted myocardium, as previously described. In this paper we assessed the hypothesis that exposure of CSps and CDCs to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs), tuned at Ca 2+ ion cyclotron energy resonance (Ca2+-ICR), may drive their differentiation towards a cardiac-specific phenotype.Methods and resultsA significant increase in the expression of cardiac markers was observed after 5 days of exposure to Ca2+-ICR in both human CSps and CDCs, as evidenced at transcriptional, translational, and phenotypical levels. Ca 2+ mobilization among intracellular storages was observed and confirmed by compartmentalized analysis of Ca2+ fluorescent probes.ConclusionsThese results suggest that ELF-EMFs tuned at Ca 2+-ICR could be used to drive cardiac-specific differentiation in adult cardiac progenitor cells without any pharmacological or genetic manipulation of the cells that will be used for therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Ca ion cyclotron resonance
  • Cardiac regenerative medicine
  • Clinical translation protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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