Low intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation reduces expression of genes related to inflammation and calcium signalling in cultured mouse cortical astrocytes

Darren Clarke, Jamie Beros, Kristyn A. Bates, Alan R. Harvey, Alexander D. Tang, Jennifer Rodger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation frequently used to induce neuroplasticity in the brain. Even at low intensities, rTMS has been shown to modulate aspects of neuronal plasticity such as motor learning and structural reorganisation of neural tissue. However, the impact of low intensity rTMS on glial cells such as astrocytes remains largely unknown. This study investigated changes in RNA (qPCR array: 125 selected genes) and protein levels (immunofluorescence) in cultured mouse astrocytes following a single session of low intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation (LI-rMS – 18 mT). Purified neonatal cortical astrocyte cultures were stimulated with either 1Hz (600 pulses), 10Hz (600 or 6000 pulses) or sham (0 pulses) LI-rMS, followed by RNA extraction at 5 h post-stimulation, or fixation at either 5 or 24-h post-stimulation. LI-rMS resulted in a two-to-four-fold downregulation of mRNA transcripts related to calcium signalling (Stim1 and Orai3), inflammatory molecules (Icam1) and neural plasticity (Ncam1). 10Hz reduced expression of Stim1, Orai3, Kcnmb4, and Ncam1 mRNA, whereas 1Hz reduced expression of Icam1 mRNA and signalling-related genes. Protein levels followed a similar pattern for 10Hz rMS, with a significant reduction of STIM1, ORAI3, KCNMB4, and NCAM1 protein compared to sham, but 1Hz increased STIM1 and ORAI3 protein levels relative to sham. These findings demonstrate the ability of 1Hz and 10Hz LI-rMS to modulate specific aspects of astrocytic phenotype, potentially contributing to the known effects of low intensity rTMS on excitability and neuroplasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Stimulation
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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