Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Lipidomic alteration and stress-defense mechanism of soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in response to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field exposure. med./bio.

Published in: Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2019; 170: 611-619

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the effects of exposure to a 50 Hz magnetic field on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans including changes of the lipid metabolism, as well as gene and protein expression.

Background/further details

Two groups of worms were examined: 1) exposure group and 2) control group.
For the protein analysis, 40,000 worms were utilized. No numbers were reported for the other analyses.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1:
Exposure duration: circa 48 hours (from egg to the fourth larval stage)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Exposure duration circa 48 hours (from egg to the fourth larval stage)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber 5,000 eggs (and later on worms) were cultivated and exposed in one plate; respectively, three plates were exposed simultaneously
Setup a pair of Helmholtz coils was set in the middle of an incubator; each Helmholtz coil was 15 cm in length and 40 cm in diameter and was wrapped with 260 turns of copper wire; coil was connected to the AC power supply and electrified at 50 Hz, 82.3 V, and 6.75 A; a hose was wound around the coils and then connected to a water bath for removing the generated heat; temperature in the incubator was 20°C ± 0.15°C; worms were exposed in darkness
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info control samples were handled identically except for the magnetic field exposure
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 3 mT - - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In exposed worms, 64 lipids were significantly decreased or increased compared to the control group. Altered lipids were mainly composed of various glycerolipids, fatty acyls, glycero phospholipids, sterols, sphingolipids, one isopentenol compound and one polyketide. The level of triacylglycerols was significantly increased in exposed worms when compared to the control worms.
In total, 82 proteins were up-regulated and 72 proteins were down-regulated in exposed worms compared to those from the control group. The gene analysis indicated that 172 genes were up-regulated and 284 genes were down-regulated under exposure when compared to the control group. In further analyses, the altered gene expression was found to be related to alteration in the lipd composition, mitochondrial dysfunction and the stress defense.
The authors conclude that the data indicate that exposure to a 50 Hz magnetic field can affect the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans mainly through disturbing lipid metabolism and eliciting stress defense responses.

Study character:

Study funded by

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