Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields activate the antioxidant pathway Nrf2 in a Huntington's disease-like rat model. med./bio.

Published in: Brain Stimul 2013; 6 (1): 84-86

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether an extremely low frequency magnetic field is capable to induce the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2; involved in regulation of the antioxidant system) nuclear translocation in an animal model of Huntington's disease.

Background/further details

The animals were divided into three groups (4 animals per group): i) control group, ii) 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP)-treated rats (20 mg/kg body weight) for four consecutive days and iii) 3-NP-treated rats + magnetic field exposure.
3-NP is a neurotoxin and an inhibitor of the succinate dehydrogenase enzyme. This toxin causes changes similar to those occurring in Huntington's disease.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 4 h/day for 8 days (see add. information)

General information

Animals divided into three groups: i) control ii) treated with 3-NP for 4 days iii) treated with 3-NP for 4 days and exposed to EMF for 8 days

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration 4 h/day for 8 days (see add. information)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup pair of Helmholtz coils with a diameter of 7 cm; each coil consisting of 1000 turns of enamelled copper wire and placed in a 10.5 cm x 10.5 cm x 3.5 cm plastic box; animal placed in a cylindrical plastic cage designed to keep it immobilized while receiving magnetic stimulation to its head; cage positioned between the coils
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info exposure time: 2 h in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon; exposure starting 4 days before the first injection with 3-NP
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.7 mT - - - -

Reference articles

  • Tunez I et al. (2006): Transcranial magnetic stimulation attenuates cell loss and oxidative damage in the striatum induced in the 3-nitropropionic model of Huntington's disease.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed that 3-NP caused a reduction in Nrf2 expression in both cytoplasm and nucleus, while the magnetic stimulation applied to 3-NP-treated rats triggered an increase in cytoplasm and nucleus Nrf2 levels.
The authors conclude that transcranial magnetic stimulation modulates Nrf2 protein expression and translocation and that these mechanisms may partly explain the neuroprotective effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation, as well as its antioxidant and cell protection capacity.

Study character:

Study funded by

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