A total of 90 mice were divided into 9 groups (n=10 each but only n=6 were used for analysis, respectively).
The groups 1-3 were injected with 1) saline (0.05 ml/20 g body weight, intraperitoneally), 2) coenzyme Q10 (200 mg/kg body weight, orally) or 3) carnitine (200 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally), respectively, 3 times per week for 2 weeks, and they were not exposed to the magnetic field (control groups).
The groups 4-6 were injected with the same doses of 4) saline, 5) coenzyme Q10 or 6) carnitine, respectively, 1 hour before repeated exposure to the magnetic field for 30 min per day three times per week for 2 weeks.
The groups 7-9 were injected with the same doses of 7) saline, 8) coenzyme Q10 or 9) carnitine, respectively, 1 hour before acute exposure to the magnetic field for 3 h.
One day after the end of exposure, animals were sacrificed.
|Chamber||cage with Perspex windows blocking its two end sides allowing 12 mice to move around freely|
|Setup||system consisted of three rectangular coils connected in parallel; current used was 3.17 A; a doll wooden frame similar to the cage dimensions was used for construction of the coils (approximate cross-section 22 cm × 12 cm) and wound with 760 turns of 1mm diameter copper wire; a cooling copper serpentine was constructed and placed in close proximate to the interior surface of the coil around the cage to control the temperature|
Repeated (group 4) or acute (group 7) exposure of mice caused a significant decrease in sperm count, motility, daily sperm production and germ cell maturation compared to the control group (group 1). Moreover, histopathological changes (dilatation of seminiferous tubules and absence of spermatogonia and spermatogenesis) were observed in the testes after repeated exposure to the magnetic field (remark EMF-Portal: no results were presented for acute exposure to the magnetic field).
For both exposure conditions, treatment of mice with coenzyme Q10 (groups 5 and 8) or carnitine (groups 6 and 9) led to significant higher values of sperm count, motility, daily sperm production and germ cell maturation compared to the non-treated exposure groups (groups 4 and 7). Most histopathological changes induced by the repeated magnetic field exposure could be prevented by a treatment with coenzyme Q10 or carnitine.
No changes were observed between the unexposed control groups (groups 1-3).
The authors conclude that exposure of mice to a 50 Hz magnetic field might damage the testes and sperms and that coenzyme Q10 and carnitine could have a protective effect.