Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of 50 Hz extremely low frequency magnetic field on the morphology and function of boar spermatozoa capacitated in vitro med./bio.

Published in: Theriogenology 2007; 67 (4): 801-815

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effect of an acute exposure to a sinusoidal extremely low frequency magnetic field (50 Hz, 1mT) on the ability of boar mature spermatozoa to acquire the fertilization competence in vitro.

Background/further details

Semen samples were collected from three boars.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h, 2 h or 4 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h, 2 h or 4 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup 30 cm long solenoid with an inner diameter of 12.5 cm and 8 turns/cm wound on a PVC cylinder; samples placed on a Plexiglas plane in the center of the solenoid; B-field homogeneity 2.2% in the exposure area
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT - measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure did not affect sperm viability and morphology during the first hour of exposure when sperm calcium homeostasis was already affected. Exposed spermatozoa showed significantly lower resting intracellular calcium levels than those of controls. This result was dependent on a lower extracellular calcium intake (as demonstrated by the lower uptake of calcium-45). Moreover, exposed spermatozoa displayed a parallel decrease in intracellular calcium store as confirmed by lower calcium release (triggered by the addition of thapsigargin) and by the progressive reduction in mitochondrial activity. As a consequence, after one hour of exposure cells displayed a reduced sperm motility, a modest reactivity when co-incubated with solubilized zona pellucida and a decrease in oocyte penetrating ability. Additionally, after 2 h or 4 h of exposure signs of morphological damage appeared on plasma membrane and at acrosomal level.
In conclusion, an extremely low frequency magnetic field negatively influences spermatozoa first by impairing cell calcium homeostasis and then by dramatically affecting sperm morphology and function.

Study character:

Study funded by

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