Electrical stimulation modulates fate determination of differentiating embryonic stem cells

Masahisa Yamada, Kentaro Tanemura, Seiji Okada, Akio Iwanami, Masaya Nakamura, Hideaki Mizuno, Michiru Ozawa, Ritsuko Ohyama-Goto, Naohito Kitamura, Masako Kawano, Kyoko Tan-Takeuchi, Chiho Ohtsuka, Atsushi Miyawaki, Akihiko Takashima, Masaharu Ogawa, Yoshiaki Toyama, Hideyuki Okano, Takashi Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


A clear understanding of cell fate regulation during differentiation is key in successfully using stem cells for therapeutic applications. Here, we report that mild electrical stimulation strongly influences embryonic stem cells to assume a neuronal fate. Although the resulting neuronal cells showed no sign of specific terminal differentiation in culture, they showed potential to differentiate into various types of neurons in vivo, and, in adult mice, contributed to the injured spinal cord as neuronal cells. Induction of calcium ion influx is significant in this differentiation system. This phenomenon opens up possibilities for understanding novel mechanisms underlying cellular differentiation and early development, and, perhaps more importantly, suggests possibilities for treatments in medical contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-570
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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