Magnetic Fields Modulate Metabolism and Gut Microbiome in Correlation With Pgc-1α Expression: Follow-up to an in Vitro Magnetic Mitohormetic Study

Author: Yee Kit Tai, Charmaine Ng, Kristy Purnamawati, Jasmine Lye Yee Yap, Jocelyn Naixin Yin, Craig Wong, Bharati Kadamb Patel, Poh Loong Soong, Pawel Pelczar, Jürg Fröhlich, Christian Beyer, Charlene Hui Hua Fong, Sharanya Ramanan, Marco Casarosa, Carmine Pasquale Cerrato, Zi Ling Foo, Rina Malathi Pannir Selvan, Elina Grishina, Ufuk Degirmenci, Shi Jie Toh, Pete J Richards, Ali Mirsaidi, Karin Wuertz-Kozak, Suet Yen Chong, Stephen J Ferguson, Adriano Aguzzi, Monica Monici, Lei Sun, Chester L Drum, Jiong-Wei Wang, Alfredo Franco-Obregón
1 Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
2 Biolonic Currents Electromagnetic Pulsing Systems Laboratory, BICEPS, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
3 Centre for Transgenic Models, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
4 Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
5 Fields at Work GmbH, Zürich, Switzerland.
6 Centre Suisse d'électronique et de microtechnique, CSEM SA, Neuchatel, Switzerland.
7 Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences "Mario Serio", University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
8 Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
9 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
10 Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Singapore, Singapore.
11 Competence Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
12 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY, USA.
13 Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS), Singapore, Singapore.
14 Institut für Neuropathologie, Universitätsspital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
15 ASAcampus JL, ASA Res. Div. - Dept. of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences "Mario Serio", University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
16 DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
17 Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
18 Institute for Health Innovation & Technology, iHealthtech, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
Conference/Journal: FASEB J
Date published: 2020 Jul 6
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1096/fj.201903005RR. , Word Count: 214

Exercise modulates metabolism and the gut microbiome. Brief exposure to low mT-range pulsing electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) was previously shown to accentuate in vitro myogenesis and mitochondriogenesis by activating a calcium-mitochondrial axis upstream of PGC-1α transcriptional upregulation, recapitulating a genetic response implicated in exercise-induced metabolic adaptations. We compared the effects of analogous PEMF exposure (1.5 mT, 10 min/week), with and without exercise, on systemic metabolism and gut microbiome in four groups of mice: (a) no intervention; (b) PEMF treatment; (c) exercise; (d) exercise and PEMF treatment. The combination of PEMFs and exercise for 6 weeks enhanced running performance and upregulated muscular and adipose Pgc-1α transcript levels, whereas exercise alone was incapable of elevating Pgc-1α levels. The gut microbiome Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio decreased with exercise and PEMF exposure, alone or in combination, which has been associated in published studies with an increase in lean body mass. After 2 months, brief PEMF treatment alone increased Pgc-1α and mitohormetic gene expression and after >4 months PEMF treatment alone enhanced oxidative muscle expression, fatty acid oxidation, and reduced insulin levels. Hence, short-term PEMF treatment was sufficient to instigate PGC-1α-associated transcriptional cascades governing systemic mitohormetic adaptations, whereas longer-term PEMF treatment was capable of inducing related metabolic adaptations independently of exercise.

KEYWORDS: PEMF; brown adipose; mitochondria; muscle; white adipose.

PMID: 32627872 DOI: 10.1096/fj.201903005RR