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Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields

Effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on activation of angiogenesis were analysed using cultured umbilical human vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The cultures were exposed to a sinusoidal EMF to intensity of 1 mT, 50 Hz for up to 12 h. EMFs increased the degree of endothelial cell proliferation and tubule formation, coupled by an acceleration in the process of wound healing. Since this process is physiologically accompanied by a large modification in the structural organization of actin and focal adhesions, we analyzed the rearrangement of some cytoskeleton elements demonstrating a major reorganization of the fibres and of the focal adhesion complexes after EMF exposure. Finally, Western blot analysis revealed a significant increase in phosphorylation as well as the overall expression of VEGF receptor 2 (KDR/Flk-1) suggesting that EMFs may modulate in vitro some endothelial functions correlated to angiogenesis through signal transduction pathways dependent on VEGF.