The effects of an acute (1+7 days) or chronic (up to 3 months) exposure of rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field on the pituitary and the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-producing cells should be investigated.
The adrenocorticotropic hormone is excreted in cases of various forms of stress (possible stressors are work, injuries, diseases, operations, emotions, depressions, physical and psychic stress) and is therefore regarded as a stress hormone.
Rats were divided into 4 groups: 1) exposure to the magnetic field for 1 day (n=6-8), 2) exposure for 7 days (n=6-8), 3) exposure up to 3 months of age (n=6-8) and 4) sham exposure (n=?). In groups 1) and 2), 3-month-old rats were exposed. In group 3), exposure started during mating of the parental generation and rats were exposed from their conception. Sham exposure was conducted separately for each exposure group but as the results were identical, they were considered as only one sham exposure group (remark EMF-Portal: size of group not clear).
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 day
Exposure duration: continuous for 7 days
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 3 months of age
geomagnetic field in the experimental area was measured and within the normal range
|Setup||an electromagnet with a regular laminated transformer core and pole diameter of 9.5 cm generated a relatively homogenous field; a cage with 4-5 animals, respectively, was placed on each side of the electromagnet at a distance of 20 cm from the center of each cage to the magnetic poles; temperature was maintained at 23 ± 2°C and relative humidity at 60-70%|
|Sham exposure||A sham exposure was conducted.|
Rats exposed to the magnetic field for 1 day (group 1) showed a significantly reduced pituitary volume, total number and volume of adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing cells and their nuclei compared to the sham exposure group, while rats exposed for 7 days (group 2) only showed a significantly reduced volume of ACTH-producing cells.
Rats exposed for up to 3 months of age (group 3) showed a significantly reduced volume of the pituitary and the ACTH-producing cells in comparison to the sham exposure group.
The authors conclude that an acute as well as a chronic exposure of rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field could have an effect on the morphometry of the pituitary and the adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing cells.