Pregnant rats were divided into an exposure group (n=5) and a sham exposure group (n=5). Exposure/sham exposure took place during pregnancy and for 20 days after birth. In the age of 21 days, the offspring (n=30 exposure group, n=20 sham exposure group) was killed and the myocardium was examined.
|magnetic flux density||3 mT||-||measured||-||-|
In the myocardium of exposed rats, the level of malondialdehyde was significantly increased compared to the sham exposed rats, while the enzyme activity of the superoxide dismutase was significantly decreased. Additionally, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly increased in the exposed group in comparison to the sham exposed group. Electron microscopy revealed degeneration of the mitochondria, a dilated sarcoplasmic reticulum, disappearence or fragmentation of most myofibrils and the formation of perivascular vacuoles in the exposure group.
The authors conclude that prenatal and neonatal exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields could impair the infant rat myocardium.