Home
Medical/biological study (experimental study)

The effect of 20-week continuous 60 Hz magnetic field exposure on testicular function in sprague-dawley rats.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2018; 39 (7): 539-546

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the effects of a long-term exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field on the motility, morphology, and number of sperm as well as on the apoptosis of testicular germ cells in rats.
Background/further details: Rats were divided into four groups according to their body weight (n=12 per group): 1) sham exposure, 2) 2 µT magnetic field, 3) 20 µT magnetic field and 4) 200 µT magnetic field. Rats were housed and exposed with 2 rats per cage.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure 2: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure 3: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber rats were housed in non-metallic polycarbonate cages; outside dimensions of the cage were 260 mm (length) x 420 mm (width) x 180 mm (height)
Setup exposure system consisted of 3 horizontal coils so that rats were exposed to a transverse magnetic field to simulate human magnetic field exposure under power lines; dimensions of the coils were 1200 mm x 1200 mm; for 2 µT upper and lower coils were wound 20 turns each, the middle coil was wound 12 turns; current of all coils was 0.076 A (effective value)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info for the sham exposure, upper and lower coils were wound 10 turns each clockwise and counter-clockwise, and the middle coil was wound 6 turns each clockwise and counter-clockwise; current was 0.076 A (effective value)
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 2 µT - measured and calculated - -
Additional parameter details
± 10%
Exposure 2
Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup for 20 µT upper and lower coils were wound 90 turns each, the middle coil was wound 54 turns; current of all coils was 0.17 A (effective value)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 20 µT - measured and calculated - -
Additional parameter details
± 10%
Exposure 3
Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration 24 hours per day for 20 weeks (expect for 3 hours/week for maintenance)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup for 200 µT upper and lower coils were wound 90 turns each, the middle coil was wound 54 turns; current of all coils was 1.7 A (effective value)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 200 µT - measured and calculated - -
Additional parameter details
± 5%
Reference articles
  • Kim HS et al. (2014): Continuous exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields induces duration- and dose-dependent apoptosis of testicular germ cells.
  • Kim YW et al. (2009): Effects of 60 Hz 14 microT magnetic field on the apoptosis of testicular germ cell in mice.
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

There were no significant differences in body weight and testes weight, in the diameter and structure of the seminiferous tubules as well as in the percentage of abnormal sperm between exposure groups (groups 2-4) and sham exposure group (group 1). In rats exposed to the 200 µT magnetic field (group 4), the number of apoptotic germ cells was significantly increased while the sperm number was significantly decreased compared to the sham exposed rats (group 1).
The authors conclude that exposure of rats to a 60 Hz magnetic field with a magnetic flux density of 200 mT could increase testicular germ cell apoptosis and reduce sperm count.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), Korea
  • Korea Institute of Energy Technology and Planning (KETEP), Korea
  • Hallym University, Korea

Related articles

  • Ruan G et al. (2018): Power-frequency magnetic fields at 50 Hz do not affect fertility and development in rats and mice.
  • Park S et al. (2015): Endonuclease G is Upregulated and Required in Testicular Germ Cell Apoptosis after Exposure to 60 Hz at 200 µT.
  • Duan W et al. (2014): Effects of exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields on spermatogenesis in adult rats.
  • Kim HS et al. (2014): Continuous exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields induces duration- and dose-dependent apoptosis of testicular germ cells.
  • Tenorio BM et al. (2012): Evaluation of testicular degeneration induced by low-frequency electromagnetic fields.
  • de Bruyn L et al. (2010): Effect of long-term exposure to a randomly varied 50 Hz power frequency magnetic field on the fertility of the mouse.
  • Kim YW et al. (2009): Effects of 60 Hz 14 microT magnetic field on the apoptosis of testicular germ cell in mice.
  • Rajaei F et al. (2009): Effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic field on mouse epididymis and deferens ducts.
  • Aydin M et al. (2007): Effect of electromagnetic field on the sperm characteristics and histopathological status of testis in rats.
  • Lee JS et al. (2004): Effects of 60 Hz electromagnetic field exposure on testicular germ cell apoptosis in mice.