Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Histological characteristics of cutaneous and thyroid mast cell populations in male rats exposed to power-frequency electromagnetic fields. med./bio.

Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2005; 81 (7): 491-499

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To determine whether mast cells in skin and thyroid gland, cutaneous nerve fibers and eosinophils are sensitive to the influence of electromagnetic fields.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure for 4 hours per day for one month

General information

Twelve animals were exposed to the influence of ELF-EMF, another twelve animals served as controls and were maintained in a similar environment, but without the presence of artificially produced ELF-EMF.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure for 4 hours per day for one month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 12 cm
Setup The exposure system was made of a single coil of solenoid type equipped with a cooling system and energized from 50 Hz, 220 V and 10 A via an autotransformer, which provided 100 V output. Cages with animals were placed at the both sides of the coil at a 12 cm distance and were covered with a plastic lid. The EMF produced by the coil was in the horizontal direction relative to the geomagnetic field, it was inhomogeneous and of decaying intensity along the animal cages with 300 µT and 160 V/m on the side of the cage near the coil and 100 µT and 54 V/m on the opposite side, while the value of the electric field at any other point in the room was less than 10 V/m.
Additional info The residential values of the magnetic and electric fields were measured to be 0.2 µT and 2.9 V/m, while the value of the geomagnetic field was 40 µT.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 300 µT - measured - on the near side
electric field strength 160 V/m - measured - on the near side
magnetic flux density 100 µT - measured - on the far side
electric field strength 54 V/m - measured - on the far side

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The numerical and volume density of intact type A mast cells (type A: compact with abundant cytoplasmatic granules) in the thyroid of the exposed group was significantly higher compared to the control. A number of mast cells and immunoreactive nerve fibers were observed in the skin and of histamine-immunoreactive mast cells in the thyroid of exposed rats. The differences in stereological data were not statistically significant.
The findings indicate certain alterations of cutaneous and thyroid mast cells in rats exposed to electromagnetic fields.

Study character:

Study funded by

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