The cellular-level effects of low/high frequency oscillating magnetic field on excitable cells such as neurons are well established. In contrast, the effects of a homogeneous, static magnetic field (SMF) on Central Nervous System (CNS) glial cells are less investigated. Here, we have developed an in vitro SMF stimulation set-up to investigate the genomic effects of SMF exposure on oligodendrocyte differentiation and neurotrophic factors secretion. Human oligodendrocytes precursor cells (OPCs) were stimulated with moderate intensity SMF (0.3 T) for a period of two weeks (two hours/day). The differential gene expression of cell activity marker (c-fos), early OPC (Olig1, Olig2. Sox10), and mature oligodendrocyte markers (CNP, MBP) were quantified. The enhanced myelination capacity of the SMF stimulated oligodendrocytes was validated in a dorsal root ganglion microfluidics chamber platform. Additionally, the effects of SMF on the gene expression and secretion of neurotrophic factors-BDNF and NT3 was quantified. We also report that SMF stimulation increases the intracellular calcium influx in OPCs as well as the gene expression of L-type channel subunits-CaV1.2 and CaV1.3. Our findings emphasize the ability of glial cells such as OPCs to positively respond to moderate intensity SMF stimulation by exhibiting enhanced differentiation, functionality as well as neurotrophic factor release.
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