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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Apr 15;176(1):194-200.

Spontaneous and mitomycin-C-induced micronuclei in human lymphocytes exposed to extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic fields.

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Istituto di Ricerca per l'Elettromagnetismo e i Componenti Elettronici Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Napoli, Italy.


The cytokinesis block micronucleus method, a very sensitive cytogenetic assay, was used to ascertain the possible genotoxic effects of extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic fields in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated human lymphocytes cultures from 16 healthy donors. Four conditions were studied: i) lymphocytes not exposed to the field (control cultures); ii) lymphocytes exposed to the field; iii) lymphocytes treated with mitomycin-C and not exposed to the field; iv) lymphocytes treated with mitomycin-C and exposed to the field. Mitomycin-C-treated cultures were used as control for the micronucleus method, because it is known that mitomycin-C is a potent genotoxic agent, capable of inducing micronuclei. The frequency of micronuclei in field-exposed cultures was similar to the spontaneous frequency observed in control unexposed-cultures. Moreover, the exposure to pulsed magnetic fields did not affect the frequency of micronuclei induced by mitomycin-C, suggesting that, in the experimental conditions used, this kind of field neither affected the integrity of chromosomes nor interfered with the genotoxic activity of mitomycin-C.

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