Main content area

Alternating Current Electric Fields of Varying Frequencies: Effects on Proliferation and Differentiation of Porcine Neural Progenitor Cells

Lim, Ji-Hey, McCullen, Seth D., Piedrahita, Jorge A., Loboa, Elizabeth G., Olby, Natasha J.
Cellular reprogramming 2013 v.15 no.5 pp. 405-412
astrocytes, electric current, electric field, electrodes, immunocytochemistry, stem cells, swine
Application of sinusoidal electric fields (EFs) has been observed to affect cellular processes, including alignment, proliferation, and differentiation. In the present study, we applied low-frequency alternating current (AC) EFs to porcine neural progenitor cells (pNPCs) and investigated the effects on cell patterning, proliferation, and differentiation. pNPCs were grown directly on interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) localizing the EFs to a region accessible visually for fluorescence-based assays. Cultures of pNPCs were exposed to EFs (1 V/cm) of 1 Hz, 10 Hz, and 50 Hz for 3, 7, and 14 days and compared to control cultures. Immunocytochemistry was performed to evaluate the expression of neural markers. pNPCs grew uniformly with no evidence of alignment to the EFs and no change in cell numbers when compared with controls. Nestin expression was shown in all groups at 3 and 7 days, but not at 14 days. NG2 expression was low in all groups. Co-expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and TUJ1 was significantly higher in the cultures exposed to 10- and 50-Hz EFs than the controls. In summary, sinusoidal AC EFs via IDEs did not alter the alignment and proliferation of pNPCs, but higher frequency stimulation appeared to delay differentiation into mature astrocytes.