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Bioelectromagnetics. 2015 Apr;36(4):302-8. doi: 10.1002/bem.21914. Epub 2015 Mar 27.

Exposure to 50 Hz electric fields reduces stress-induced glucocorticoid levels in BALB/c mice in a kV/m- and duration-dependent manner.

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  • 1Bio-Self-Regulating Science Laboratory, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Japan; Hakuju Institute for Health Science, Tokyo, Japan.


Electric fields (EFs) can reduce elevated levels of stress-related hormones in some organisms. In this study, endocrine effects of exposure to a 50 Hz EF were investigated in male BALB/c mice. Specifically, plasma glucocorticoid (GC) levels were examined because GC is known to mediate the stress response in mice, including changes induced by immobilization. Mice were exposed to 50 Hz EFs (at 2.5-200 kV/m) for 60 min. They were immobilized for the latter half (30 min). At the end of exposure period, blood samples were collected and GC levels estimated by spectrofluorometry. GC levels were not influenced by EFs in absence of immobilization, but they were significantly higher in immobilized mice than in non-immobilized mice (P < 0.01). Elevated GC levels induced by immobilization were significantly reduced by exposure to an EF at 10 kV/m (P < 0.05), and the effect of EFs at 0-10 kV/m on GC levels increased in a kV/m-dependent manner (P < 0.05). In contrast, following treatment with EFs at 50 and 200 kV/m, GC levels were higher than those observed at 10 kV/m. To assess the effect of EF treatment duration, mice were also exposed to 50 Hz EFs (10 kV/m) for 6, 20, or 60 min. Immobilization-induced increase in GC levels was significantly suppressed by EF exposure for 20 and 60 min. Therefore, our results demonstrate that extremely low-frequency EFs alter stress response of mice in a kV/m- and duration-dependent manner.


ELF; dose-dependent; glucocorticoid; stress response

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