Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Gene expression analysis of ELF-MF exposed human monocytes indicating the involvement of the alternative activation pathway med./bio.

Published in: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research 2006; 1763 (4): 402-412

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the cell activating capacity of extremely low frequency magnetic fields on human umbilical cord blood-derived monocytes.

Background/further details

A genome wide gene expression analysis was applied to detect gene regulations after exposure. Changes in a number of genes allowed the authors to formulate a hypothesis, namely the activation of the alternative pathway (one of three different pathways for immune cell activation; promotes extracellular matrix construction, cell proliferation, and angiogenesis, and resolves inflammation) by extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure, which was tested by specific gene analysis 0, 5, 15, 30, and 45 min after exposure.
TPA and LPS treatment was performed as positive controls for cell activation.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 5, 15, 30 and 45 min

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
  • unspecified
Exposure duration 5, 15, 30 and 45 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup Cells were exposed in the central area of the coils which was placed in a CO2 incubator maintained at 37°C. Control cells were cultured in an identical incubator without the coils.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT unspecified measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The findings confirm the previous results of cell activating capacity of extremely low frequency magnetic field in human monocytes, which was detected as an increased ROS release (cf. publication 11436 and publication 7475).
The data indicated the alteration of 986 genes involved in metabolism, cellular physiological processes, signal transduction and immune response. Significant regulations could be analyzed for 5 genes. Gene expression analysis of IL15RA and IL10RA during 45 min extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure indicated the regulation of cell activation via the alternative pathway, whereas the delayed gene expression of FOS, IL2RA and the melatonin synthesizing enzyme HIOMT suggested the suppression of inflammatory processes.
The authors suggest that extremely low frequency magnetic fields activate human monocytes via the alternative pathway.

Study character:

Study funded by

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