Male mice were implanted with microelectrodes and behavior was assessed after three days of acclimatization. Mice with unusual behavior were excluded. Remaining mice (n=21) were divided in three groups (n=7 per group): 1) 50 Hz magnetic field exposure, 2) static magnetic field exposure and 3) sham exposure. After exposure/sham exposure, mice were subjected to a Y-maze daily. Electrophysiological recordings were performed simultaneously to behavioral examination and lasted 10 minutes.
local geomagnetic field was approximately 0.04-0.05 mT
|Chamber||mice were put in a pipe (8 cm length, 6 cm diameter) to prevent free moving|
|Setup||field was created by an in-house built system consisting of a signal generator and a coil electromagnet; the solenoid coil was made from 1200 turns of copper wire (diameter of 1.01 mm) wrapped around a circular magnetic core; pipe, which contained the mouse, was kept in place with a fixing bracket|
|Sham exposure||A sham exposure was conducted.|
Mice exposed to the 50 Hz magnetic field for three days and longer, had a significantly impaired performance in the maze compared to the sham exposed mice: The percentage of correct choices was significantly lower and the latency was significantly longer. Additionally, the firing rate, the theta wave and gamma wave band as well as the modulation index were significantly decreased in mice exposed to the 50 Hz magnetic field for three days and longer compared to the sham exposure group. The microscopic observation revealed slight alterations in the appearence of the nuclei in the brain of 50 Hz exposed mice while sham exposed mice were histologically inconspicuous.
No differences were seen between the mice exposed to the static magnetic field and those sham exposed.
The authors suggest that there may be a negative effect of exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields on the working memory in mice. Furthermore, they hypothesize that the abnormal spikes firing and corresponding disrupted coupling between theta wave and gamma wave band could be a potential electrophysiological mechanism for magnetic field-induced deficits in the working memory.