Pulsed electromagnetic fields inhibit bone loss in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Endocrine. 2015 May;49(1):258-66. doi: 10.1007/s12020-014-0439-z. Epub 2014 Oct 2.


Evidences have shown that pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) can partially prevent bone loss in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. However, the precise mechanisms accounting for these favorable effects are unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of PEMFs on bone mass and receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in STZ rats. Thirty 3-month-old Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into the following three groups (n = 10): control group (injection of saline vehicle), DM group (injection of STZ), and PEMFs group (injection of STZ + PEMFs exposure). One week following injection of STZ, rats in the PEMFs group were subject to PEMFs stimulus for 40 min/day, 5 days/week, and lasted for 12 weeks. After 12 week intervention, the results showed that PEMFs increased serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase level and bone mineral density, and inhibited deterioration of bone microarchitecture and strength in STZ rats. Furthermore, PEMFs up-regulated the mRNA expressions of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5, β-catenin and runt-related gene 2 (Runx2), and down-regulated dickkopf1 in STZ rats. However, mRNA expressions of RANKL and OPG were not affected by PEMFs. PEMFs can prevent the diabetes-induced bone loss and reverse the deterioration of bone microarchitecture and strength by restoring Runx2 expression through regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, regardless of its no glucose lowering effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Bone Demineralization, Pathologic / prevention & control*
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Female
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Streptozocin / pharmacology
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • RANK Ligand
  • Runx2 protein, rat
  • Streptozocin