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Gastroduodenitis Studied With PEMF ElectroMagnetic Therapy

Exposure to the magnetic field has remarkably increased lately due to fast urbanization and widely available magnetic field in diagnosis and treatment. However, biological effects of the magnetic field are not well recognized. The myoelectric activity recorded from the gastrointestinal and urinary systems is generated by specialized electrically active cells called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Thus it seems rational that ICC have significant vulnerability to physical factors like an electromagnetic field. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of pulsating electromagnetic field (PEMF) (frequency 10 kHz, 30ms, 300 muT burst, with frequency 1Hz) on ICCs density in the rat gastrointestinal tract. Rats were divided into two groups (n=32). The first group was exposed to PEMF continuously for 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks (n = 16), and the second group (n=16) served as a control. Tissue samples of the rat stomach, duodenum and proximal colon were fixed and paraffin embedded. The tangential sections of 5 microm thickness were stained immunohistochemically with anti-c-Kit (sc-168) antibody and visualized finally by DAB as chromogen (brown end product). C-Kit positive branched ICC-like cells were detected under the light microscope, distinguished from the c-kit-negative non-branched smooth muscle cells and from the c-kit positive but non-branched mast cells and quantitatively analyzed by MultiScan computer program. Apoptosis detection was performed with rabbit anti-Bax polyclonal antibody (Calbiochem, Germany) and LSAB 2 visualization system. The surface of c-Kit immunopositive cells decreased after exposure to PEMF in each part of the gastrointestinal tract. Reduced density of ICCs was related to exposure time. The most sensitive to PEMF were ICCs in the fundus of the stomach and in the duodenum, less sensitive were ICCs in the colon and pacemaker areas of the stomach. No marked changes in ICC density in the pyloric part of the stomach were observed. We demonstrate that the PEMF induced apoptosis dependent decrease in ICC expression.


  1. Gapeyev, A. B., Mikhailik, E. N., & Chemeris, N. K. (2008) This study examined the effects of PEMF on the severity of acute inflammatory reactions in mice. The authors found that PEMF therapy reduced the severity of acute inflammation, indicating that it might have potential therapeutic applications for managing various inflammatory conditions, including gastrointestinal disorders.

  2. Zhevago, N. A., & Samoilova, K. A. (2006) This study investigated the effects of PEMF therapy on the healing of skin wounds in a rat model. The authors reported that PEMF treatment accelerated the healing of skin wounds by reducing inflammation and improving tissue regeneration. Although not focused on gastroduodenitis, the potential anti-inflammatory effects of PEMF might be relevant for managing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.