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Hochstrasser, Tanja; Frank, Hans-Georg; Schmitz, Christoph (2016): Dose-dependent and cell type-specific cell death and proliferation following in vitro exposure to radial extracorporeal shock waves. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 30637


Radial extracorporeal shock wave (rESW) therapy is widely used in musculoskeletal disorders and wound repair. However, the mechanisms of action are still largely unknown. The current study compared the effects of rESWs on two cell types. Human fetal foreskin fibroblasts (HFFF2) and human placental choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3 were exposed to 0, 100, 200, 500 or 5000 rESWs generated with a Swiss DolorClast device (2.5 bar, 1 Hz). FACS analysis immediately after rESW exposure showed that initially, rESWs rather induced mechanical cell destruction than regulated or programmed cell death. Cell damage was nearly negated by reducing cavitation. Furthermore, cell viability decreased progressively with higher numbers of rESWs. Exposure to rESWs had no impact on growth potential of JEG-3 cells, but dose-dependently increased growth potential of HFFF2 cells. Cultivation of cells that were initially exposed to sham-rESWs in conditioned media increased the growth potential of HFFF2 cells, nevertheless, an even stronger effect was achieved by direct exposure to rESWs. Additionally, cell cycle distribution analysis demonstrated a shift in proportion from G0/G1 to G2/M phase in HFFF2 cells, but not in JEG-3 cells. These data demonstrate that rESWs leads to initial and subsequent dose-dependent and cell type-specific effects in vitro.