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Bioelectromagnetics. 2015 Apr;36(4):294-301. doi: 10.1002/bem.21915. Epub 2015 Mar 22.

Circadian gene expression and extremely low-frequency magnetic fields: an in vitro study.

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Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Molecular Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.


It is well known that circadian clocks are mainly regulated by light targeting signaling pathways in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. However, an entrainment mediated by non-photic sensory stimuli was also suggested for peripheral clocks. Exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields might affect circadian rhythmicity. The goal of this research was to investigate effects of ELF magnetic fields (ELF-MF) on circadian clock genes in a human fibroblast cell line. We found that an ELF-MF (0.1 mT, 50 Hz) exposure was capable of entraining expression of clock genes BMAL1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, and CRY2. Moreover, ELF-MF treatment induced an alteration in circadian clock gene expression previously entrained by serum shock stimulation. These results support the hypothesis that ELF-MF may be able to drive circadian physiologic processes by modulating peripheral clock gene expression.


ELF; biological clock; circadian rhythm; clock genes; fibroblasts

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