Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Genomic instability induced by 50Hz magnetic fields is a dynamically evolving process not blocked by antioxidant treatment. med./bio.

Published in: Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2015; 794: 46-51

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of human neuroblastoma cells to a 50 Hz magnetic field on oxidative stress and DNA damage should be investigated.

Background/further details

The study based on the results of a previous study by the authors (Luukkonen et al. 2014) and should enlarge the data. Menadione is a free radical-producing DNA damaging agent, and the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine were used in the tests to assess the influence of reactive oxygen species.
Cells were divided into the following groups: 1) exposure to the magnetic field, 2) co-exposure to the magnetic field and menadione, 3) co-exposure to the magnetic field and N-acetylcysteine, 4) co-exposure to the magnetic field, menadione and N-acetylcysteine. For each group, a respective control group with the same treatment but without exposure to the magnetic field was used. Cells were investigated 15, 30 and 45 days after exposure.
3 experiments with 2-3 samples per group, respectively, were performed. Positive controls were used.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 hours

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 24 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Exposure room cell culture dishes in temperature-controlled cell culture incubator with 5% CO2
Setup a horizontal MF was generated by a pair of Helmholtz coils (340 mm Π460 mm, 220 mm distance between the coils) inside an incubator; all cell culture dishes were placed at the center of the coil system, where the magnetic field was homogenous
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 100 µT - measured - -

Reference articles

  • Luukkonen J et al. (2014): Induction of genomic instability, oxidative processes, and mitochondrial activity by 50Hz magnetic fields in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
  • Markkanen A et al. (2008): Pre-exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields modifies menadione-induced DNA damage response in murine L929 cells.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The DNA damage was significantly elevated in groups exposed to the magnetic field (groups 1-4) compared to the respective control groups after 15 and 30 days, but not after 45 days.
Lipid peroxidation was significantly decreased in MF-exposed groups 1-4 compared to the respective control groups after 30 and 45 days.
The amount of reactive oxygen species was significantly increased in groups 3 and 4, which were exposed to the magnetic field and treated with N-acetylcysteine or menadione and N-acetylcysteine, compared to their respective control groups.
The authors conclude that exposure of human neuroblastoma cells to a 50 Hz magnetic field could induce DNA damage. Consistently with the previous study, this effect did not depend on co-exposure to menadione and was not blocked by simultaneous exposure to the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, indicating that the increase in reactive oxygen species is no causal mechanism of action.

Study character:

Study funded by

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