Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Anxiety-like behavioural effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field in rats med./bio.

Published in: Environ Sci Pollut Res 2017; 24 (27): 21693-21699

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine the effect of a 50 Hz magnetic field on anxiety-like behavior in adult rats.

Background/further details

Male rats were divided in two groups (n=5, respectively): 1) control group and 2) exposure group. Rats were subjected to the behavioral tests after the exposure period (7 days). Afterwards, rats were sacrificed and the brain was taken for biochemical investigations.
Remark EMF-Portal: unclear, if control group was subjected to a sham exposure.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continously for 7 days (24 h/day)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continously for 7 days (24 h/day)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two coils made from copper wire with 11,300 windings respectively; coils were appointed in vertical position, spaced apart at a distance equal to their radii (8 cm) and connected in parallel to the AC source
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 10 mT effective value measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Both, elevated plus maze and open field test showed an increased level of anxiety in exposed rats. In detail, elevated plus maze showed that motor activity was significantly reduced in exposed rats compared to the control group. Additionally, exposed rats spent more time in closed arms than those of the control group. Similarly, the the open field test showed that exposed rats spent significantly less time in the central area of the open field and significantly more time in the periphery compared to rats from the control group.
In the hypothalamus of exposed rats, the levels of superoxide anion (O2-) and NO2- were significantly increased compared to the control group. No significant difference was found for ONOO.
The authors conclude that a 50 Hz magnetic field could induce anxiety-like behavior in rats via a mechanism involving O2- and NO2-.

Study character:

Study funded by

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