Cardiovascular complications are known as the main cause of mortality in subjects with diabetes mellitus (DM). In particular, ischemic heart disease is more common in patients with DM than in nondiabetics and promising therapeutically strategies to repair heart damages, including progenitor cell therapy or reprogramming non-cardiac cells, are inadequate in patients with DM. Emerging evidence indicates that hyperglycemia and oxidative stress are the primary causes of cardiac regenerative therapies’ failure in DM. Thus, it is essential to develop new therapeutic approaches aimed at contrasting the cardiac hyperglycemic microenvironment. Several researchers have proposed pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), an innovative medical device, to regenerate bone tissue, but very few works have studied PEMF possible use in other pathological condition and, in particularly, in cardiac damages. For the first time, we investigated the effects of PEMF preconditioning treatment on ischemic damages in H9c2 rat cardiomyocytes grown in hyperglycemic condition (25 mmol/L glucose). H9c2 cardiomyocytes were directly exposed to PEMF for 30 minutes (PEMF were generated by a commercially device having these features: 1,33 ms pulses at 75 Hz-1,5 mT) before ischemic injury. Ischemia was simulated by treating H9c2 cells with 5μM rotenone for 3 hours. Control cells were not pretreated with PEMF. Protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) activation were increased by PEMF stimuli: these kinases are closely related to attenuated cell apoptosis and oxidative stress. Indeed, our results indicated that PEMF treatment could significantly reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in hyperglycemic H9c2. Taken together, our preliminary study indicated that PEMF could be a potential strategy to improve the efficacy of cardiac regenerative therapies in diabetic patients.


I. Terruzzi: None. P. Senesi: None. F. Vacante: None. L. Luzi: Consultant; Self; McKinsey & Company. Research Support; Self; Allergan, Gelesis, SunStar Inc. Speaker's Bureau; Self; A. Menarini Diagnostics, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Company, GlaxoSmithKline plc., Menarini Group, Novartis AG, Novo Nordisk Inc., Sunstar Foundation.

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