Electrical Stimulation Activates Fibroblasts through the Elevation of Intracellular Free Ca2+: Potential Mechanism of Pelvic Electrical Stimulation Therapy.Biomed Res Int 2019; 2019:7387803BR
Ca2+ is an important ion in response to electrical stimulation (ES) and acts as second messenger in the regulation of various physiological processes. Pelvic floor electrical stimulation (PES) is a low-voltage clinical application, available for urinary incontinence (UI) treatment. Fibroblasts, as the main cellular component of vaginal wall and pelvic ligament, play an important role in the maintenance of pelvic health. We studied the effect of ES on fibroblasts in this study. ES was conducted with electrotaxis chambers on L929 fibroblast and the ES parameter was 100 mV/mm×2h. The results showed that ES increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration, promoted the expression of PCNA, CyclinB1, and CyclinD1, and increased the proportion of cells in S and G2 phages. After ES, fibroblasts get activated and proliferated. Besides, BAPTA-AM, a membrane permeated chelator for intracellular free Ca2+, partially inhibited the effect of ES on fibroblasts activation and proliferation promotion. Furthermore, we elucidated that Ca2+, as a second messenger and upstream signal for Smads and Akt signaling, regulated ES-induced nuclear translocation of smad2/3, phosphorylation of smad2/3, Akt, and GSK3β. Finally, we validated the effect of ES on PES mouse model. The results indicated that PES promoted the activation and proliferation of fibroblasts in vivo. In conclusion, we verify that ES can elevate the concentration of intracellular Ca2+ and activate its downstream signaling and then promote the activation of fibroblasts, which may be one of the mechanisms of PES therapy.