Lisi A, Ledda M, de Carlo F, Pozzi D, Messina E, Gaetani R, Chimenti I, Barile L, Giacomello A, D’Emilia E, Giuliani L, Foletti A, Patti A, Vulcano A, Grimaldi S.
The identification of suitable stem cell cultures and differentiating conditions that are free of xenogenic growth supplements is an important step in finding the clinical applicability of cell therapy in two important fields of human medicine: heart failure and bone remodeling, growth and repair. We recently demonstrated the possibility of obtaining cardiac stem cells (CSCs) from human endomyocardial biopsy specimens. CSCs self-assemble into multi-cellular clusters known as cardiospheres (CSps) that engraft and partially regenerate infarcted myocardium. CSps and cardiosphere-derived-cells (CDCs) were exposed for five days in an incubator regulated for temperature, humidity, and CO(2) inside a solenoid system. This system was placed in a magnetically shielded room. The cells were exposed simultaneously to a static magnetic field (MF) and a parallel low-alternating frequency MF, close to the cyclotron frequency corresponding to the charge/mass ratio of the Ca(++) ion. In this exposure condition, CSps and CDCs modulate their differentiation turning on cardiogenesis and turning off vasculogenesis. Cardiac markers such as troponin I (TnI) and myosin heavy chain (MHC) were up-regulated. Conversely, angiogenic markers such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and kinase domain receptor (KDR) were down-regulated as evidenced by immunocytochemistry. Exposure to the 7 Hz calcium ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) frequency can modulate the cardiogenic vs. angiogenic differentiation process of ex vivo expanded CSCs. This may pave the way for novel approaches in tissue engineering and cell therapy. With regard to bone remodeling, it has been suggested that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may be considered as a potential therapeutic tool. Using the Ca(++)-dependent specific differentiation potential of the ELF-MF 7 Hz ICR, we show here that exposure of human MSC to these same MF conditions enhanced the expression of osteoblast differentiation markers such as alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and osteopontin, as analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR, without affecting cell proliferation. As expected, while the differentiation marker factors were up regulated, the ICR electromagnetic field down regulated osteoprotegerin gene expression, a critical regulator of postnatal skeletal development and homeostasis in humans as well as mice.