Frequency dependence of electric field modulation of fibroblast protein synthesis

Science  12 Jun 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4807, pp. 1465-1469
DOI: 10.1126/science.3589667


The effect of electric current on protein biosynthesis in mammalian fibroblasts was investigated with neonatal bovine fibroblast-populated collagen matrices. The field strength dependence of electric field modulation of proline incorporation into extracellular and intracellular protein was measured over a frequency range from 0.1 to 1000 hertz. A frequency- and amplitude-dependent reduction in the rate of incorporation was observed. In tissues containing cells aligned either parallel or perpendicular to the electric field, this response was dependent on the orientation of the cells relative to the direction of the applied electric field. This study demonstrates that currents of physiological strength can stimulate alterations in biosynthesis and thereby may influence tissue growth, remodeling, and repair.

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