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Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Feb 15;48(4):579-89. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.12.005. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Modulation of redox status and calcium handling by extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in C2C12 muscle cells: A real-time, single-cell approach.

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  • 1Cellular Physiology Lab, Center for Research on Ageing, Department of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, 66013 Chieti, Italy.

Abstract

The biological effects of electric and magnetic fields, which are ubiquitous in modern society, remain poorly understood. Here, we applied a single-cell approach to study the effects of short-term exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) on muscle cell differentiation and function using C2C12 cells as an in vitro model of the skeletal muscle phenotype. Our focus was on markers of oxidative stress and calcium (Ca(2+)) handling, two interrelated cellular processes previously shown to be affected by such radiation in other cell models. Collectively, our data reveal that ELF-EMFs (1) induced reactive oxygen species production in myoblasts and myotubes with a concomitant decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential; (2) activated the cellular detoxification system, increasing catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities; and (3) altered intracellular Ca(2+)homeostasis, increasing the spontaneous activity of myotubes and enhancing cellular reactivity to a depolarizing agent (KCl) or an agonist (caffeine) of intracellular store Ca(2+)channels. In conclusion, our data support a possible link between exposure to ELF-EMFs and modification of the cellular redox state, which could, in turn, increase the level of intracellular Ca(2+)and thus modulate the metabolic activity of C2C12 cells.

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