The possible carcinogenicity of magnetic fields should be investigated by examining the changes in gene expression and protein expression and their relationship in human glioma cells after an exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field.
Triplicate sets of cell cultures were exposed to the magnetic field or to sham exposure, respectively. Biomarkers of carcinogens should be detected with protein expression analysis, while the parallel gene expression analysis should identify related oncogenes.
Exposure duration: continuous for 3 h
|continuous for 3 h
|two concentric Merrit/Helmholtz coil systems, inner coils for exposure, outer coils to limit stray fields; modified commercial incubator placed as exposure chamber in the coil system
|A sham exposure was conducted.
|for sham exposure: double-wound coils were energized with opposing currents so that the resulting magnetic field was zero
|magnetic flux density
The results of gene expression analysis showed a significant up-regulation of five and down-regulation of 25 genes in cells exposed to the magnetic field compared to sham exposure. Protein expression analysis indicated that the expression rates of ten identified proteins were significantly altered. Three of these showed an increase and seven a decrease in their expression rate, following the exposure compared to sham exposure. However, no obvious relationship between the affected genes and proteins could be found.
The authors conclude that there is an effect of 60 Hz magnetic fields on gene expression and protein expression of human glioma cells, but that further studies are needed to clarify and evaluate the relationships.