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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Elf-pulsed magnetic fields modulate opioid peptide gene expression in myocardial cells.

OBJECTIVES: Magnetic fields have been shown to affect cell proliferation and growth factor expression in cultured cells. Although the activation of endorphin systems is a recurring motif among the biological events elicited by magnetic fields, compelling evidence indicating that magnetic fields may modulate opioid gene expression is still lacking. We therefore investigated whether extremely low frequency (ELF) pulsed magnetic fields (PMF) may affect opioid peptide gene expression and the signaling pathways controlling opioid peptide gene transcription in the adult ventricular myocyte, a cell type behaving both as a target and as a source for opioid peptides. METHODS: Prodynorphin gene expression was investigated in adult rat myocytes exposed to PMF by the aid of RNase protection and nuclear run-off transcription assays. In PMF-exposed nuclei, nuclear protein kinase C ( PKC) activity was followed by measuring the phosphorylation rate of the acrylodan- labeled MARCKS peptide. The effect of PMF on the subcellular distribution of different PKC isozymes was assessed by immunoblotting. A radioimmunoassay procedure coupled to reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography was used to monitor the expression of dynorphin B. RESULTS: Here, we show that PMF enhanced myocardial opioid gene expression and that a direct exposure of isolated myocyte nuclei to PMF markedly enhanced prodynorphin gene transcription, as in the intact cell. The PMF action was mediated by nuclear PKC activation but occurred independently from changes in PKC isozyme expression and enzyme translocation. PMF also led to a marked increase in the synthesis and secretion of dynorphin B. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings demonstrate that an opioid gene is activated by myocyte exposure to PMF and that the cell nucleus and nuclear embedded PKC are a crucial target for the PMF action. Due to the wide ranging importance of opioid peptides in myocardial cell homeostasis, the current data may suggest consideration for potential biological effects of PMF in the cardiovascular system.[1]


  1. Elf-pulsed magnetic fields modulate opioid peptide gene expression in myocardial cells. Ventura, C., Maioli, M., Pintus, G., Gottardi, G., Bersani, F. Cardiovasc. Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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