Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Testicular development evaluation in rats exposed to 60 Hz and 1 mT electromagnetic field med./bio.

Published in: J Appl Toxicol 2011; 31 (3): 223-230

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of rat exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields during the critical period of testicular development (from day 13 of gestation to the 21st postnatal day).

Background/further details

Six pregnant rats served as control group and seven pregnant rats were electromagnetic field exposed from the 13th day of gestation. After birth 12 neonatal male rats were still exposed up to the 21st postnatal day and another 12 male rats were maintained in the same experimental conditions, except for the electromagnetic field exposure (control group).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: three times 30 min/day between the 13th day of gestation and the 21st postnatal day

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration three times 30 min/day between the 13th day of gestation and the 21st postnatal day
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup Helmholtz coils connected in parallel; pregnant female rats placed individually in a cylindrical compartment of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) located centrally between two Helmholtz coils; pups placed on a PVC drawer connected to the cylindrical compartment
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT - measured - -

Reference articles

  • Ramadan LA et al. (2002): Testicular Toxicity Effects of Magnetic Field Exposure and Prophylactic Role of Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine in Mice
  • Boorman GA et al. (1999): Chronic toxicity/oncogenicity evaluation of 60 Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields in F344/N rats

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Results showed a decrease in the following parameters: seminiferous tubule diameter and area, seminiferous tubule epithelium height, total volume of seminiferous tubule, tubular lumen, seminiferous tubule epithelium, and Leydig cells.
In contrast, an increase was found in connective tissue cells and blood vessels volume.
Plasma testosterone, Sertoli cells population, seminiferous tubules length and gonadosomatic index did not change under exposure to the electromagnetic field.
In conclusion, the findings showed that rats exposed to 60 Hz electromagnetic field from the 13th day of gestation to the 21st postnatal day exhibited testicular alterations, indicating that electromagnetic fields could promote delayed testicular development.

Study character:

Study funded by

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