Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Chronic exposure to an extremely low-frequency magnetic field induces depression-like behavior and corticosterone secretion without enhancement of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2013; 34 (1): 43-51

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effect of chronic extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure on emotional behavior and corticosterone synthesis in mice.
Background/further details: 5-10 mice per trial were exposed or sham exposed.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 8 h/day on 25 days
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 8 h/day on 25 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup 33 cm long coil consisting of a primary and a secondary coil with an inner diameter of 34.5 cm and an outer diameter of 37 cm; coil constructed by winding enameled wire with a diameter of 2.12 mm on a plastic cylinder; mice placed in 18.2 cm x 26 cm x 12.8 cm plastic cages covered with vented plates
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 3 mT - - - according to original article
magnetic flux density 1.5 mT - - - according to Erratum
Reference articles
  • Soda A et al. (2008): Effect of exposure to an extremely low frequency-electromagnetic field on the cellular collagen with respect to signaling pathways in osteoblast-like cells.
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Exposed mice showed a significant increase in total immobility time in the forced swim test and an increased latency to enter the light box in the light-dark transition test, compared with sham exposed mice. Corticosterone secretion was significantly higher in the exposed mice; however, no changes were found in the amount of the ACTH and the gene expression related to stress response. Quantification of the mRNA levels of adrenal corticosterone synthesis enzymes revealed a significant reduction in Cyp17a1 mRNA in the exposed mice.
The data suggest the possibility that high intensity and chronic exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic field induces an increase in corticosterone secretion, along with depression- and/or anxiety-like behavior, without enhancement of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Magnetic Health Science Foundation, Japan
  • Kojinkai Foundation, Japan

Comments on this article

  • Kitaoka K et al. (2013): Erratum: Low-frequency magnetic field induces depression-like behavior and corticosterone secretion without enhancement of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis in mice

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