Rotating Magnetic Fields Inhibit Mitochondrial Respiration, Promote Oxidative Stress and Produce Loss of Mitochondrial Integrity in Cancer Cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) raise intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can be toxic to cancer cells. Because weak magnetic fields influence spin state pairing in redox-active radical electron pairs, we hypothesize that they disrupt electron flow in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). We tested this hypothesis by studying the effects of oscillating magnetic fields (sOMF) produced by a new noninvasive device involving permanent magnets spinning with specific frequency and timing patterns. We studied the effects of sOMF on ETC by measuring the consumption of oxygen (O 2 ) by isolated rat liver mitochondria, normal human astrocytes, and several patient derived brain tumor cells, and O 2 generation/consumption by plant cells with an O 2 electrode. We also investigated glucose metabolism in tumor cells using ¹ H and ¹³ C nuclear magnetic resonance and assessed mitochondrial alterations leading to cell death by using fluorescence microscopy with MitoTracker™ and a fluorescent probe for Caspase 3 activation. We show that sOMF of appropriate field strength, frequency, and on/off profiles completely arrest electron transport in isolated, respiring, rat liver mitochondria and patient derived glioblastoma (GBM), meningioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) cells and can induce loss of mitochondrial integrity. These changes correlate with a decrease in mitochondrial carbon flux in cancer cells and with cancer cell death even in the non-dividing phase of the cell cycle. Our findings suggest that rotating magnetic fields could be therapeutically efficacious in brain cancers such as GBM and DIPG through selective disruption of the electron flow in immobile ETC complexes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Rotating Magnetic Fields Inhibit Mitochondrial Respiration, Promote Oxidative Stress and Produce Loss of Mitochondrial Integrity in Cancer Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this