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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Feb 1;1668(1):33-40.

Permeability changes of connexin32 hemi channels reconstituted in liposomes induced by extremely low frequency, low amplitude magnetic fields.

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Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine, CNR, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy.


The effect of extremely low frequency and low amplitude magnetic fields on gap junctional permeability was investigated by using reconstituted connexin32 hemi channel in liposomes. Cytochrome c was loaded inside these proteoliposomes and its reduction upon addition of ascorbate in the bulk aqueous phase was adopted as the index of hemi channel permeability. The permeability rate of the hemi channels, expressed as DeltaA/min, was dependent on the incubation temperature of proteoliposomes. The effect of exposures to magnetic fields at different frequencies (7, 13 and 18 Hz) and amplitudes (50, 50 and 70 microT, respectively), and at different temperatures (16, 18 and 24 degrees C) was studied. Only the exposure of proteoliposomes to 18-Hz (B(acpeak) and B(dc)=70 microT) magnetic field for 60 min at 16+/-0.4 degrees C resulted in a significant enhancement of the hemi channel permeability from DeltaA/min=0.0007+/-0.0002 to DeltaA/min=0.0010+/-0.0001 (P=0.030). This enhancement was not found for magnetic field exposures of liposomes kept at the higher temperatures tested. Temperature appears to influence lipid bilayer arrangement in such a way as being capable to mask possible effects induced by the magnetic field. Although the observed effect was very low, it seems to confirm the applicability of our model previously proposed for the interaction of low frequency electromagnetic fields with lipid membrane.

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