Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) on infarct size and inflammation after cerebral ischemia in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative effects in animals and humans. We used the FDA-approved Sofpulse (Ivivi Health Sciences, LLC) to study effect of PEMF on infarct size and poststroke inflammation following distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO) in mice. Electromagnetic field was applied within 30-45 min after ischemic brain damage and utilized twice a day for 21 consecutive days. Ischemic infarct size was assessed using MRI and histological analysis. At 21 days after dMCAO, the infarct size was significantly (by 26%) smaller in PEMF-treated animals as compared to controls. Neuroinflammation in these animals was evaluated using specialized cytokine/chemokine PCR array. We demonstrate that PEMF significantly influenced expression profile of pro- and anti-inflammatory factors in the hemisphere ipsilateral to ischemic damage. Importantly, expression of gene encoding major pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1α was significantly reduced, while expression of major anti-inflammatory IL-10 was significantly increased. PEMF application significantly downregulated genes encoding members of the major pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily indicating that the treatment could have both anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. Both reduction of infarct size and influence on neuroinflammation could have a potentially important positive impact on the poststroke recovery process, implicating PEMF as a possible adjunctive therapy for stroke patients.

publication date

  • August 2014