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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Aug;59(2):334-41. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9477-6. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Combined exposure of peripubertal male rats to the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and power-frequency electromagnetic fields causes degranulation of cutaneous mast cells: a new toxic environmental hazard?

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  • 1Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia,


The effects of single and combined treatments of the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and the power-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) were investigated on cutaneous mast cells in juvenile/peripubertal male Wistar rats. Animals were divided into six groups: (1) 4 h/day exposure to EMFs (50 Hz), (2) 20 mg/kg of body weight (bw) of atrazine, (3) 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, (4) EMFs with 20 mg/kg bw of atrazine, (5) EMFs with 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, and (6) control. Both the atrazine and the combined treatments, but not the single EMF exposure, increased the number of degranulated mast cells. Statistically significant differences were demonstrated between the control and both of the combined treatments (p<0.01 and p<0.001, respectively). Additionally, low and high doses of atrazine combined with the EMFs were found significantly different when compared to the EMF group alone (both at p<0.001). Considering the biological importance of mast cells in cutaneous immune reactions, future studies should reveal whether combined exposures to chemical and physical environmental agents pose a serious health risk.

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