To study the effects of single and combined treatments of the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and the power frequency electromagnetic fields on cutaneous mast cells in male juvenile rats (on postnatal days 23 to 53).
Atrazine is an environmental contaminant commonly detected in groundwater and surface water, including drinking water.
Rats were divided into six groups (each group n = 10): 1) 4 h/day exposure to electromagnetic fields (50 Hz), 2) atrazine treatment (20 mg/kg body weight), 3) atrazine treatment (200 mg/kg body weight), 4) co-exposure of electromagnetic fields and atrazine (20 mg/kg), 5) co-exposure of electromagnetic fields and atrazine (200 mg/kg), and 6) control.
Cytoplasmic granules of cutaneous mast cells contain mediators (such as histamine and serotonin). Reactions of mast cells are related to the extracellular degranulation (i.e. mediators are released from granules).
animals were treated in six groups: i) EMF exposure ii) 20 mg/kg of body weight of atrazine iii) 200 mg/kg of body weight of atrazine iv) 20 mg/kg of body weight of atrazine + EMF exposure v) 200 mg/kg of body weight of atrazine + EMF exposure vi) control
Both the atrazine alone and the combined treatments (co-exposures), but not the electromagnetic field exposure alone, increased the number of degranulated mast cells in juvenile rats. Statistically significant differences were found between the control and both of the combined treatments. Additionally, the effects of low and high doses of atrazine combined with the electromagnetic fields were significantly different when compared to the electromagnetic field group alone.
Considering the biological importance of mast cells in cutaneous immune reactions, future studies should reveal whether co-exposures to chemical and physical environmental agents pose a serious health risk.