Repetitive low intensity magnetic field stimulation in a neuronal cell line: A metabolomics study

Ivan Hong, Andrew Garrett, Garth Maker, Ian Mullaney, Jennifer Rodger, Sarah J. Etherington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Low intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation of neural tissue modulates neuronal excitability and has promising therapeutic potential in the treatment of neurological disorders. However, the underpinning cellular and biochemical mechanisms remain poorly understood. This study investigates the behavioural effects of low intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation (LI-rMS) at a cellular and biochemical level. We delivered LI-rMS (10 mT) at 1 Hz and 10 Hz to B50 rat neuroblastoma cells in vitro for 10 minutes and measured levels of selected metabolites immediately after stimulation. LI-rMS at both frequencies depleted selected tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolites without affecting the main energy supplies. Furthermore, LI-rMS effects were frequency-specific with 1 Hz stimulation having stronger effects than 10 Hz. The observed depletion of metabolites suggested that higher spontaneous activity may have led to an increase in GABA release. Although the absence of organised neural circuits and other cellular contributors (e.g., excitatory neurons and glia) in the B50 cell line limits the degree to which our results can be extrapolated to the human brain, the changes we describe provide novel insights into how LI-rMS modulates neural tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4501
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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