Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Combined exposure of peripubertal male rats to the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and power-frequency electromagnetic fields causes degranulation of cutaneous mast cells: a new toxic environmental hazard? med./bio.

Published in: Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 2010; 59 (2): 334-341

Aim of study (acc. to author)

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).

Background/further details

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).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 4 hr/day for 30 days (postnatal days 23 to 53)

General information

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

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 4 hr/day for 30 days (postnatal days 23 to 53)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 54 V/m minimum - - -
electric field strength 160 V/m maximum - - -
magnetic flux density 100 µT minimum - - -
magnetic flux density 300 µT maximum - - -

Reference articles

  • Rajkovic V et al. (2005): The effect of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on skin and thyroid amine- and peptide-containing cells in rats: an immunohistochemical and morphometrical study.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

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.

Study character:

Study funded by

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