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Health Phys. 2015 Jul;109(1):84-9. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000292.

Could Magnetic Fields Affect the Circadian Clock Function of Cryptochromes? Testing the Basic Premise of the Cryptochrome Hypothesis (ELF Magnetic Fields).

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*Research Center on Environmental Health and Work Health, School of Public Health, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP 593, Route de Lennik 808, 1070 Brussels, Belgium; †Department of General Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45117 Essen, Germany; ‡Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic; §Scientific Institute of Public Health, Section of Toxicology, Rue J. Wytsman 14, 1050 Brussels; **University of Antwerp, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium.


It has been suggested that weak 50/60 Hz [extremely low frequency (ELF)] magnetic fields (MF) could affect circadian biorhythms by disrupting the clock function of cryptochromes (the "cryptochrome hypothesis," currently under study). That hypothesis is based on the premise that weak (Earth strength) static magnetic fields affect the redox balance of cryptochromes, thus possibly their signaling state as well. An appropriate method for testing this postulate could be real time or short-term study of the circadian clock function of retinal cryptochromes under exposure to the static field intensities that elicit the largest redox changes (maximal "low field" and "high field" effects, respectively) compared to zero field. Positive results might encourage further study of the cryptochrome hypothesis itself. However, they would indicate the need for performing a similar study, this time comparing the effects of only slight intensity changes (low field range) in order to explore the possible role of the proximity of metal structures and furniture as a confounder under the cryptochrome hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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