Exposure to Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Improves the Developmental Competence and Quality of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis) Embryos Produced Using Fibroblast Cells and Alters Their Epigenetic Status and Gene Expression

Cell Reprogram. 2021 Oct;23(5):304-315. doi: 10.1089/cell.2021.0028. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


We examined the effects of treatment with pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) on cumulus cells and buffalo somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. PEMF treatment (30 μT for 3 hours) of cumulus cells increased (p < 0.05) the relative cell viability and cell proliferation and the expression level of OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, P53, CCNB1, and GPX, but decreased (p < 0.05) that of DNMT1, DNMT3a, GSK3b, and BAX, whereas the expression level of DNMT3b, GLUT1, BCL2, CASPASE3, SOD1, and CATALASE was not affected. PEMF treatment of SCNT embryos at the beginning of in vitro culture increased (p < 0.05) the blastocyst rate (51.4% ± 1.36% vs. 42.8% ± 1.29%) and decreased (p < 0.01) the apoptotic index to the level in in vitro fertilization blastocysts, but did not significantly alter the total cell number and the inner cell mass:trophectoderm cell number ratio of blastocysts compared to the controls. PEMF treatment increased the expression level of NANOG, SOX2, CDX2, GLUT1, P53, and BCL2 and decreased that of BAX, CASPASE3, GSK3b, and HSP70, but not OCT4, DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b, HDAC1, and CCNB1 in blastocysts. It increased (p < 0.001) the global level of H3K27me3 but not H3K18ac. These results suggest that PEMF treatment of SCNT embryos improves their developmental competence, reduces the level of apoptosis, and alters the expression level of several important genes related to pluripotency, apoptosis, metabolism, and stress.

Keywords: IVF; PEMF; SCNT; cloning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't