Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Distinct Epidermal Keratinocytes Respond to Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Differently med./bio.

Published in: PLoS One 2014; 9 (11): e113424-1-e113424-7

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate whether extremely low frequency magnetic fields influence the cell cycle in normal epidermal keratinocytes.

Background/further details

In a previous study, the authors found that extremely low frequency magnetic fields caused a cell cycle arrest potentially through the activation of the ATM-Chk2-p21 pathway in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells (Huang et al.).
Ionizing radiation (UV-B, 21.5 J/m²) was performed as a positive control. Cell proliferation and cell viability experiments were additionally performed with HaCaT cells.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous up to 144 hours (24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144 hours)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration continuous up to 144 hours (24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144 hours)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup coil system generated a uniform 1.5 mT magnetic field; temperature inside the incubator was 36.9 ± 0.3°C
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info all sham exposed cells were cultured in a chamber magnetically shielded using a mumetal box in the same incubator in which the exposed cells were incubated
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1.5 mT - - - -

Reference articles

  • Huang CY et al. (2014): Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Cause G1 Phase Arrest through the Activation of the ATM-Chk2-p21 Pathway

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Extremely low frequency magnetic fields do not influence cell proliferation, cell viability, cell cycle distribution as well as gene expression and protein expression in keratinocytes derived from neonatal foreskin when compared to sham exposure. However, cell proliferation and cell viability were significantly decreased in exposed HaCaT cells in comparison to sham exposed ones. Moreover, an additional experiment with simultaneous exposure of the two cell lines showed that the keratinocytes derived from neonatal foreskin and the HaCaT cells exhibited distinct responses to the magnetic field.
The authors conclude that the biological effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields are cell type specific. These findings could present an explanation for the inconsistent results in previous studies using various experimental models.

Study character:

Study funded by

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