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Cytometry A. 2007 Oct;71(10):846-56.

Static magnetic fields enhance skeletal muscle differentiation in vitro by improving myoblast alignment.

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  • 1Department of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.


Static magnetic field (SMF) interacts with mammal skeletal muscle; however, SMF effects on skeletal muscle cells are poorly investigated. The myogenic cell line L6, an in vitro model of muscle development, was used to investigate the effect of a 80 +/- mT SMF generated by a custom-made magnet. SMF promoted myogenic cell differentiation and hypertrophy, i.e., increased accumulation of actin and myosin and formation of large multinucleated myotubes. The elevated number of nuclei per myotube was derived from increased cell fusion efficiency, with no changes in cell proliferation upon SMF exposure. No alterations in myogenin expression, a modulator of myogenesis, occurred upon SMF exposure. SMF induced cells to align in parallel bundles, an orientation conserved throughout differentiation. SMF stimulated formation of actin stress-fiber like structures. SMF rescued muscle differentiation in the presence of TNF, a muscle differentiation inhibitor. We believe this is the first report showing that SMF promotes myogenic differentiation and cell alignment, in the absence of any invasive manipulation. SMF-enhanced parallel orientation of myotubes is relevant to tissue engineering of a highly organized tissue such as skeletal muscle. SMF rescue of muscle differentiation in the presence of TNF may have important therapeutic implications.

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