Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Viability of unstimulated lymphocytes exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields is dependent on intensity. med./bio.

Published in: Biodiscovery 2012; 2 (2): e8925

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effect of exposure of primary lymphocytes to a 50 Hz magnetic field on cell viability, DNA damage and apoptosis should be investigated.

Background/further details

Lymphocytes were isolated from sheep, cultivated and divided into the following groups: 1) exposure to a 5 µT magnetic field, 2) exposure to a 50 µT magnetic field, 3) exposure to a 100 µT magnetic field and 4) control group. Four independent experimental trials were conducted within each group.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: for 16 hours
Exposure 2: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: for 16 hours
Exposure 3: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: for 16 hours

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration for 16 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber exposure system was placed inside an air jacketed CO2 incubator
Setup exposure system consisted of a square-shaped Helmholtz coil, which was wound over a Teflon frame of dimension 35 x 35 x 20 cm (l x b x h); an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) provided less than 1% output voltage variation ensuring stable magnetic field generation; a step down transformer was used to reduce voltage down to 15 V, reducing the electric field component; the current source (step down transformer, rheostat etc.) was shielded by mild steel sheet enclosures
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 5 µT - calibration - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration for 16 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 50 µT - calibration - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration for 16 hours
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 100 µT - calibration - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A magnetic flux density dependent enhancement in the cell viability of lymphocytes was observed in exposure groups (groups 1-3) compared to the control group (group 4) with a significant difference between group 3 (100 µT exposure) and the control group. DNA laddering analysis showed a significant decrease in cell death in group 3 compared to the control group and flow cytometric analysis showed a significant decrease in apoptosis in group 2 (50 µT exposure) and group 3 compared to the control group. There was also a statistically significant decrease in the enzyme activity of caspase-9 in group 3 compared to the control group. Comet assay did not show any significant DNA damage in exposed cells but confirmed the decreased cell death in group 3 compared to the control group.
The authors conclude that exposure of sheep primary lymphocytes to a 50 Hz magnetic field could decrease apoptosis, possibly by the suppression of caspase-9 enzyme activity, leading to an enhanced cell viability.

Study character:

Study funded by

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