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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 2;10(10):e0139644. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139644. eCollection 2015.

mTOR Activation by PI3K/Akt and ERK Signaling in Short ELF-EMF Exposed Human Keratinocytes.

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Department of Medicine and Aging Science, University "G. d'Annunzio", Chieti, Italy.
Department of Psychological, Health and Territorial Sciences, University "G. D'Annunzio", Chieti, Italy.
Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, University "G. D'Annunzio", Chieti, Italy.


Several reports suggest that ELF-EMF exposures interact with biological processes including promotion of cell proliferation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which ELF-EMF controls cell growth are not completely understood. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of ELF-EMF on keratinocytes proliferation and molecular mechanisms involved. Effect of ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 1 mT) on HaCaT cell cycle and cells growth and viability was monitored by FACS analysis and BrdU assay. Gene expression profile by microarray and qRT-PCR validation was performed in HaCaT cells exposed or not to ELF-EMF. mTOR, Akt and MAPKs expressions were evaluated by Western blot analysis. In HaCaT cells, short ELF-EMF exposure modulates distinct patterns of gene expression involved in cell proliferation and in the cell cycle. mTOR activation resulted the main molecular target of ELF-EMF on HaCaT cells. Our data showed the increase of the canonical pathway of mTOR regulation (PI3K/Akt) and activation of ERK signaling pathways. Our results indicate that ELF-EMF selectively modulated the expression of multiple genes related to pivotal biological processes and functions that play a key role in physio-pathological mechanisms such as wound healing.

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