Electromagnetic fields induce neural differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells via ROS mediated EGFR activation

Jeong Eun Park, Young Kwon Seo, Hee Hoon Yoon, Chan Wha Kim, Jung Keug Park, Songhee Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Even though the inducing effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the neural differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) is a distinctive, the underlying mechanism of differentiation remains unclear. To find out the signaling pathways involved in the neural differentiation of BM-MSCs by EMF, we examined the CREB phosphorylation and Akt or ERK activation as an upstream of CREB. In hBM-MSCs treated with ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 1 mT), the expression of neural markers such as NF-L, MAP2, and NeuroD1 increased at 6 days and phosphorylation of Akt and CREB but not ERK increased at 90 min in BM-MSCs. Moreover, EMF increased phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as an upstream receptor tyrosine kinase of PI3K/Akt at 90 min. It has been well documented that ELF-MF exposure may alter cellular processes by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentrations. Thus, we examined EMF-induced ROS production in BM-MSCs. Moreover, pretreatment with a ROS scavenger, N-acetylcystein, and an EGFR inhibitor, AG-1478, prevented the phosphorylation of EGFR and downstream molecules. These results suggest that EMF induce neural differentiation through activation of EGFR signaling and mild generation of ROS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-424
Number of pages7
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Pioneer Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea and was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology ( NRF-2009-0082941 ).


  • Bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cells
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields
  • Neural differentiation
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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