In previous studies the authors have shown that simultaneous exposure of rat lymphocytes to 7 mT magnetic field and iron ions caused a significant increase in the number of cells with DNA damage, and that melatonin, an established free radical scavenger, provides protection against that DNA damage (see publication 4790 and publication 8598).
During static magnetic field exposure, some samples were treated with ferrous chloride (FeCl2, 10 µg/ml), the rest served as controls.
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No significant differences were found between unexposed lymphocytes and lymphocytes exposed to the static magnetic field. Incubation with FeCl2 did not affect cell viability.
However, when cells were exposed to the static magnetic field and simultaneously treated with FeCl2, there was a significant increase in the percentage of apoptotic and necrotic cells accompanied by significant alterations in cell viability.
As compared to lipid peroxidation, there is a significant increase in the amount of lipid peroxidation end products malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxynonenal in lymphocytes after simultaneous exposure to the static magnetic field and FeCl2 compared to the control samples and those exposed to the magnetic field alone. This indicates that 7 mT static magnetic field in the presence of ferrous ions can increase the concentration of oxygen free radicals and thus may lead to cell death.