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Bioelectromagnetics. 1999;20(4):224-32.

Effects of 60 Hz magnetic field exposure on the pineal and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.


Experiments using the dwarf Siberian hamster Phodopus sungorus were carried out to determine possible neuroendocrine consequences of one-time and repeated exposures to 60 Hz magnetic fields (MF). Animals were maintained in either a short-light (SL, 8 h light:16 h dark) or long-light (LL, 16 h light:8 h dark) photoperiod. Acute (one-time, 15 min) exposure of male SL animals to a linearly polarized, horizontally oriented, 60 Hz MF (0.1 mT) gave rise to a statistically significant (P < .005) reduction in pineal melatonin content as determined 3 and 5 h after onset of darkness. In LL animals, acute exposure to 0.10 mT resulted in a significant decrease in pineal melatonin as measured 4 h after onset of darkness, whereas acute exposure to 50 microT showed no effect compared with sham exposure. In SL animals, an increase in norepinephrine was observed in the medial basal hypothalamus (including the suprachiasmatic nucleus) after acute exposure (P < .01). Daily MF exposure of SL animals to a combination of steady-state and on/off 60 Hz magnetic fields (intermittent exposure) at 0.1 mT for 1 h per day for 16 days was associated with a reduction in melatonin concentrations at 4 h after onset of darkness and an increase in blood prolactin concentrations (P < .05). Exposure of SL animals to a steady state 60 Hz MF for 3 h/day for 42 days resulted in a statistically significant reduction in body weight (ANOVA: P > .05), compared with sham-exposed SL animals. At 42 days, however, no significant changes in overnight melatonin or prolactin levels were detected. In both repeated exposure experiments, gonadal weights were lowest in the MF-exposed groups. This difference was statistically significant (P < .05) after 42 days of exposure. These data indicate that both one-time and repeated exposure to a 0.1 mT, 60 Hz MF can give rise to neuroendocrine responses in Phodopus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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