Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Testicular Toxicity Effects of Magnetic Field Exposure and Prophylactic Role of Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine in Mice. med./bio.

Published in: Pharmacol Res 2002; 46 (4): 363-370

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The detrimental effects of exposure of mice to a 50 Hz magnetic field on the testes and sperms and the protective effects of coenzyme Q10 and carnitine should be investigated.

Background/further details

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.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 30 min/day, 3 times a week for 2 weeks
repeated exposure
Exposure 2: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 3 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 30 min/day, 3 times a week for 2 weeks
Additional info repeated exposure
Exposure setup
Exposure source
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
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 20 mT - measured - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 3 h
Additional info acute exposure
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 20 mT - measured - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

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.

Study character:

Study funded by

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