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J Neurosci Res. 2009 Aug 15;87(11):2406-17. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22087.

Possible promotion of neuronal differentiation in fetal rat brain neural progenitor cells after sustained exposure to static magnetism.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa, Japan.


We have previously shown significant potentiation of Ca(2+) influx mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, along with decreased microtubules-associated protein-2 (MAP2) expression, in hippocampal neurons cultured under static magnetism without cell death. In this study, we investigated the effects of static magnetism on the functionality of neural progenitor cells endowed to proliferate for self-replication and differentiate into neuronal, astroglial, and oligodendroglial lineages. Neural progenitor cells were isolated from embryonic rat neocortex and hippocampus, followed by culture under static magnetism at 100 mT and subsequent determination of the number of cells immunoreactive for a marker protein of particular progeny lineages. Static magnetism not only significantly decreased proliferation of neural progenitor cells without affecting cell viability, but also promoted differentiation into cells immunoreactive for MAP2 with a concomitant decrease in that for an astroglial marker, irrespective of the presence of differentiation inducers. In neural progenitors cultured under static magnetism, a significant increase was seen in mRNA expression of several activator-type proneural genes, such as Mash1, Math1, and Math3, together with decreased mRNA expression of the repressor type Hes5. These results suggest that sustained static magnetism could suppress proliferation for self-renewal and facilitate differentiation into neurons through promoted expression of activator-type proneural genes by progenitor cells in fetal rat brain.

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