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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Nov 1;1674(3):231-8.

Fifty-hertz magnetic fields induce free radical formation in mouse bone marrow-derived promonocytes and macrophages.

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Division of Environmental Physiology, Institute for Cell Biology and Biosystems Technology, University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Strasse 3, D-18057 Rostock, Germany.


Our findings show a significant increase of free radical production after exposure to 50 Hz electromagnetic fields at a flux density of 1 mT to mouse bone marrow-derived (MBM) promonocytes and macrophages, indicating the cell-activating capacity of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF). We demonstrate that after exposure to ELF-MF mainly superoxide anion radicals were produced, both in MBM macrophages (33%) and also in their precursor cells (24%). To elucidate whether NADPH- or NADH-oxidase functions are target proteins for MF interaction, the flavoprotein inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) was used. MF-induced free radical production was not inhibited by DPI, whereas tetradecanoylphorbolacetate (TPA)-induced free radical production was diminished by about 70%. TPA is known to induce a direct activation of NADPH-oxidase through the PKC pathway. Since DPI lacks an inhibitory effect in MF-exposed MBM cells, we suggest that 50 Hz MF stimulates the NADH-oxidase pathway to produce superoxide anion radicals, but not the NADPH pathway. Furthermore, we showed an oscillation (1-10 days) in superoxide anion radical release in mouse macrophages, indicating a cyclic pattern of NADH-oxidase activity.

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