Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Microsatellite analysis for determination of the mutagenicity of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and ionising radiation in vitro. med./bio.

Published in: Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2007; 626 (1-2): 34-41

Aim of study (acc. to author)

This in vitro study was performed to explore the mutagenic effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic field in human glioma cells.

Background/further details

The mutagenic effect was determined by the microsatellite analysis.
Three types of mutation were investigated: 1.) change in allele size, 2.) loss of heterozygous state (as a result of a deletion in one cell at the time of irradiation) and 3.) alleles imbalance (occuring several cells divisions after the radiation insult).
Cells were unexposed (control group), electromagnetic field exposed and co-exposed (electromagnetic field plus gamma radiation).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 12 h continuous

General information

cells were treated in the following ways: i) 0 Gy gamma-irradiation + EMF ii) 0.3 Gy gamma-irradiation + EMF iii) 3 Gy gamma-irradiation + EMF

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration 12 h continuous
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup 2 solenoids, 300 mm long with a diameter of 120 mm each, consisting of 400 turns of 1.5 mm copper wire with additional 52 turns of wire at either end of the coils, that could be energised seperately; uniformity of the field inside the solenoids > 99 %; cells placed in T25 flasks inside the solenoids
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT - - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The exposure of the cells to extremely low frequency electromagnetic field alone at a field strength of 1mT (50 Hz) for 12 hours showed a 3.75-fold increase in mutation induction compared with the unexposed control group.
The co-exposure revealed an increase in the mutagenic effect of 0.3 and 3 Gy gamma radiation. Moreover, the treatment with 0.3 Gy induced more than 10 times more mutations per unit dose than radiation with 3 Gy.
These results clarify not only that extremely low frequency electromagnetic field is mutagenic as a single agent but also that it can potentiate the mutagenicity of ionizing radiation.

Study character:

Study funded by

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