Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Expression of T-bet and GATA-3 Genes and Serum Interferon-γ and Interleukin-4. med./bio.

Published in: J Interferon Cytokine Res 2019; 39 (2): 125-131

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the effects of a 50 Hz magnetic field on immunological parameters in rats.

Background/further details

In total, 80 rats were randomly divided into five groups (n=16 per group): 1) sham exposure, 2) 1 µT magnetic field, 3) 100 µT magnetic field, 4) 500 µT magnetic field, and 5) 2000 µT magnetic field. Exposure lasted for two months. After one month, blood samples were collected to measure cytokine levels before immunization. Rats were immune stimulated with human serum albumin after 31, 44, and 58 days of exposure. After two month, rats were killed to collect spleen and thymus and another blood sample.
Two rats, one from group 2 and one from group 4, died during the experiments.
Remark EMF-Portal: Obviously, the same rats were used as in Mahdavinejad et al. (2018).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure 2: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure 3: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure 4: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day for 2 month

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup exposure system consisted of solenoid coils (each with 2 m length and an internal diameter of 40 cm) which consisted of different turns of copper wire (2 mm diameter) wound around plastic cylinders; combination of different turns of wires with the different voltage in each solenoid generated the magnetic field with the desired magnetic flux intensities
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info for sham exposure, rats were put in the unplugged solenoid; background extremely low frequency magnetic field was 0.07 ± 0.03 µT
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 µT - measured - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 100 µT - measured - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 500 µT - measured - -

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 2 hours/day for 2 month
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 2,000 µT - measured - -

Reference articles

  • Mahdavinejad L et al. (2018): Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Decrease Serum Levels of Interleukin-17, Transforming Growth Factor-β and Downregulate Foxp3 Expression in the Spleen.
  • Salehi I et al. (2013): Exposure of rats to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) alters cytokines production.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The gene expression of T-bet and GATA-3 was significantly decreased in in the spleen of rats exposed to 1 µT (group 2) or 100 µT (group 3) compared to the sham exposure group. The serum levels of interferon-gamma and interleukin were significantly decreased in group 3 in comparison to the sham exposure before the immune stimulation started, but not afterwards.
The authors conclude that 50 Hz magnetic fields could suppress the expression of some key genes associated with T cells and cytokine production.

Study character:

Study funded by

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