Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

50 Hz alternating extremely low frequency magnetic fields affect excitability, firing and action potential shape through interaction with ionic channels in snail neurones med./bio.

Published in: Environmentalist 2008; 28 (4): 341-347

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate if 50 Hz magnetic fields have an effect on the neuronal excitability and firing responses of neurons.

Background/further details

All experiments were performed on a single identified neuron (F1) located in the visceral ganglion of the snail.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: 2 times 5 min

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
  • rectangular
Exposure duration 2 times 5 min
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 10 ms
Rise time 10 ms
Fall time 10 ms
Duty cycle 50 %
Pulse type biphasic
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup coil with an inner diameter of 8 cm and 8500 turns of 0.75 mm wire, covered with a resin coating; experiments performed in a Faraday cage
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.8 mT - - - -
magnetic flux density 2 mT - - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields at 2 mT or 0.8 mT resulted in an increase in the peak amplitude of action potential and after hyperpolarization potential in a time dependent manner (maximum effect between 16 min [2 mT] and 45 min [0.8 mT] after exposure). Both magnetic field intensities decreased also the firing rate (maximum reduction between 12 min [2 mT] and 45 min [0.8 mT] after exposure) and the duration of action potential (maximum reduction 20 min after exposure).
The data suggest that 50 Hz magnetic fields at both intensities may have inhibitory effects on the electrophysiological behaviour of neuronal cells and underlying ion channel currents.

Study character:

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