Direct-Current Electrical Field Guides Neuronal Stem/Progenitor Cell Migration

Authors

  • Lei Li,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Research Institute of Surgery and Daping Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury of China, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Youssef H. El-Hayek,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Baosong Liu,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Yonghong Chen,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Everlyne Gomez,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Xiaohua Wu,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Research Institute of Surgery and Daping Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury of China, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Ke Ning,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Lijun Li,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Ning Chang,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Liang Zhang,

    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Zhengguo Wang,

    1. Research Institute of Surgery and Daping Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury of China, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Xiang Hu,

    1. Beike Biotech Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, People's Republic of China
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  • Qi Wan M.D., Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, USA
    • Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557-0271, USA. Telephone: 775-784-4352; Fax: 775-784-6903
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Abstract

Direct-current electrical fields (EFs) promote nerve growth and axon regeneration. We report here that at physiological strengths, EFs guide the migration of neuronal stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) toward the cathode. EF-directed NSPC migration requires activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which leads to an increased physical association of Rho GTPase Rac1-associated signals to the membrane NMDARs and the intracellular actin cytoskeleton. Thus, this study identifies the EF as a directional guidance cue in controlling NSPC migration and reveals a role of the NMDAR/Rac1/actin signal transduction pathway in mediating EF-induced NSPC migration. These results suggest that as a safe physical approach in clinical application, EFs may be developed as a practical therapeutic strategy for brain repair by directing NSPC migration to the injured brain regions to replace cell loss.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

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