Stem cell senescence: effects of REAC technology on telomerase-independent and telomerase-dependent pathways

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Rinaldi, Salvatore ; Maioli, Margherita ; Pigliaru, Gianfranco ; Castagna, Alessandro ; Santaniello, Sara ; Basoli, V. ; Fontani, V. ; Ventura, Carlo (2014)

Decline in the gene expression of senescence repressor Bmi1, and telomerase, together with telomere shortening, underlay senescence of stem cells cultured for multiple passages. Here, we investigated whether the impairment of senescence preventing mechanisms can be efficiently counteracted by exposure of human adipose-derived stem cells to radio electric asymmetrically conveyed fields by an innovative technology, named Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC). Due to REAC exposure, the number of stem cells positively stained for senescence associated β-galactosidase was significantly reduced along multiple culturing passages. After a 90-day culture, REAC-treated cells exhibited significantly higher transcription of Bmi1 and enhanced expression of other stem cell pluripotency genes and related proteins, compared to unexposed cells. Transcription of the catalytic telomerase subunit (TERT) was also increased in REAC-treated cells at all passages. Moreover, while telomere shortening occurred at early passages in both REAC-treated and untreated cells, a significant rescue of telomere length could be observed at late passages only in REAC-exposed cells. Thus, REAC-asymmetrically conveyed radio electric fields acted on a gene and protein expression program of both telomerase-independent and telomerase-dependent patterning to optimize stem cell ability to cope with senescence progression.
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