Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

ELF magnetic field effects on fatty-acid composition of phospholipid fraction and reproduction of rats' testes med./bio.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2002; 21 (1): 19-29

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of male rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field on testes and sperms and the underlying mechanism of action should be investigated.

Background/further details

Rats were divided into two groups: 1) exposure to the magnetic field (n=14) and 2) sham exposure (n=12).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 3 h/day for 5 weeks

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 3 h/day for 5 weeks
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber methacrylate cages (24 x 25 x 28 cm)
Setup two pairs of circular Helmholtz coils; rats were placed in cages between the coils individually and were allowed to move freely
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.8 mT - measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A significant larger amount of sperms with isolated heads and a lack of hook was observed in the exposure group compared to the sham exposure group.
Moreover, the testosterone level and fatty acid content of phospholipids were significantly decreased in exposed animals in comparison to sham exposed animals.
In the histological analysis, a decreased spermatogenesis in some seminiferous tubules and increased numbers of blood vessel congestions in the stroma, more interstitial edema and more Sertoli cells were observed in exposed animals compared to the sham exposure group (remark EMF-Portal: no significance stated).
All other parameter did not show any differences between the groups.
The authors conclude that exposure of male rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field could have detrimental effects on testes and sperms, possibly due to a disruption of cell membranes in testes tissues.

Study character:

Study funded by

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