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Brain Res. 2014 May 20;1564:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.03.041. Epub 2014 Apr 12.

Effects of exposure to an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field on hippocampal long-term potentiation in rat.

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Neurophysiology Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran. Electronic address:
Neurophysiology Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.


Modern lifestyle exposes nearly all humans to electromagnetic fields, particularly to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs). Prolonged exposure to ELF-EMFs induces persistent changes in neuronal activity. However, the modulation of synaptic efficiency by ELF-EMFs in vivo is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether ELF-EMFs can change induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) and paired-pulse ratio (PPR) in the rat hippocampal area. Twenty-nine adult male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups (ELF-EMF exposed, sham and control groups). The ELF-EMF group was exposed to a magnetic field for 90 consecutive days (2h/day). ELF-EMFs were produced by a circular coil (50Hz, 100 micro Tesla). The sham-exposed controls were placed in an identical chamber with no electromagnetic field. After this period, rats were deeply anesthetized with urethane (2.0mg/kg) and then a bipolar stimulating and recording electrode was implanted into the perforant pathway (PP) and dentate gyrus (DG), respectively. LTP in hippocampal area was induced by high-frequency stimulation (HFS). Prolonged exposure to ELF-EMFs increased LTP induction. There was a significant difference in the slope of EPSP and amplitude of PS between the ELF-EMF group and other groups. In conclusion, our data suggest that exposure to ELF-EMFs produces a marked change in the synaptic plasticity generated in synapses of the PP-DG. No significant difference in PPR of ELF-EMF group before and after HFS suggests a postsynaptic expression site of LTP.


Extremely low-frequency magnetic field; Hippocampus; Long-term potentiation; Rat

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