Although the promotional effects on osteoblasts of pulsed electromagnetic fields have been well-demonstrated, the effects of static magnetic fields (SMF) remain unclear; nevertheless, magnets have been clinically used as a 'force source' in various orthodontic treatments. We undertook the present investigation to study the effects of SMF on osteoblastic differentiation, proliferation, and bone nodule formation using a rat calvaria cell culture. During a 20-day culture, the values of the total area and the number and average size of bone nodules showed high levels in the presence of SMF. In the matrix development and mineralization stages, the calcium content in the matrix and two markers of osteoblastic phenotype (alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin) also showed a significant increase. Accordingly, these findings suggest that SMF stimulates bone formation by promoting osteoblastic differentiation and/or activation.
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