John Libbey Eurotext

European Cytokine Network

Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field and wound healing: implication of cytokines as biological mediators Volume 24, numéro 1, March 2013

Department of Medicine and Ageing Sciences, University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Wound healing is a highly coordinated and complex process involving various cell types, chemical mediators and the surrounding extracellular matrix, resulting in a tightly orchestrated re-establishment of tissue integrity by specific cytokines. It consists of various dynamic processes including a series of overlapping phases: inflammation, proliferation, re-epithelialization and remodeling. One of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the disturbances in wound healing is an out-of-control inflammatory response that can cause pathological consequences, such as hypertrophic scars, keloids or chronic wounds and ulcers. Recently, several reports have evaluated the effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on tissue repair. In particular, the data analysis supports an anti-inflammatory effect of EMFs by the modulation of cytokine profiles that drive the transition from a chronic pro-inflammatory state to an anti-inflammatory state of the healing process. In this review, we focus on the effect of EMFs on skin wound healing showing emerging details of the anti-inflammatory effects of EMFs, with a view to cytokines as candidate biomarkers. Molecular clarification of the mechanisms involved in the modulation of inflammatory factors following exposure to EMFs will provide a better understanding of the cellular responses induced by EMFs and a potential, additional treatment in non-responding, chronic wounds.