Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Exposure of rats to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) alters cytokines production med./bio.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2013; 32 (1): 1-8

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine whether extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields alter the synthesis of cytokines in rats.

Background/further details

After exposure or sham exposure, rats were sacrificed (n=40). Blood was taken and the serum was analyzed for the level of cytokines. Additionally, whole blood and spleen cells were cultivated and the production of cytokines in these cell cultures were determined.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day for 3 month

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration 2 hours/day for 3 month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber plastic cages (5 rats/cage) in the middle of the exposure system, 21-22 °C, humidity 55-65 %
Setup solenoid coil with a length of 2 m and radius of 20 centimeters, 1000 turns per meter; diameter of the copper wire was 2 mm
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 99 µT mean measured and calculated - ± 2 µT

Reference articles

  • Mevissen M et al. (1998): Complex effects of long-term 50 Hz magnetic field exposure in vivo on immune functions in female Sprague-Dawley rats depend on duration of exposure

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

No significant differences in the levels of interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 as well as in the weight of the organs and the body mass were found between the exposure and sham exposure group. In the exposed group the level of interleukin-6 was significantly decreased in the blood cell culture and the spleen cell culture in comparison to the sham exposed group. Additionally, the concentration of interleukin-12 was significantly increased in the blood serum of exposed rats in comparison to sham exposed rats.
The results indicate that exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields could alter the production of cytokines in rats.

Study character:

Study funded by

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