Background External bioenergy (energy emitted from the body) can influence a variety of biological activities. It has been shown to enhance immunity, promote normal cell proliferation, increase tumor cell death, and accelerate bone fracture recovery. In this study, we investigated whether external bioenergy could alter intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i, an important factor in signal transduction) and regulate the cellular response to heat stress in cultured human lymphoid Jurkat T cells.
Methods A practitioner emitted bioenergy toward tubes of cultured Jurkat cells for one 15-minute period. [Ca2+]i was measured spectrofluorometrically using the fluorescent probe indo-1. The heat shock protein 72 kd was detected using35 S-methionine prepulse and Western blot analysis.
Results The resting [Ca2+]i in Jurkat T cells was 90±3 nM in the presence of external calcium. The removal of external calcium decreased the resting [Ca2+]i to 54±2 nM, indicating that Ca2+ entry from the external source is important for maintaining the basal level of [Ca2+]i. In the presence of external Ca2+, treatment of Jurkat T cells with external bioenergy for 15 minutes increased [Ca2+]i by 22±3%. [Ca2+]i remained elevated in these cells for 2 hours. Surprisingly, we also observed that [Ca2+]i increased by 11±1% if cells were simply placed in the area where external bioenergy had been used. This lingering effect of external bioenergy dissipated within 24 hours. Treatment with external bioenergy reduced cellular responses to heat stress and did not induce the production of heat shock protein 72 kd, which is known to provide cytoprotection.
Conclusions These results suggest that externally applied bioenergy can upregulate [Ca2+]i and downregulate the cellular response to stress. The association between the external bioenergy and increases in [Ca2+]i may be a good index for detecting presence of bioenergy.