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Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 3;5:11768. doi: 10.1038/srep11768.

Neuritin reverses deficits in murine novel object associative recognition memory caused by exposure to extremely low-frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic fields.

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Institutes of Brain Science, School of Life Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.
Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy, Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Animal studies have shown that electromagnetic field exposure may interfere with the activity of brain cells, thereby generating behavioral and cognitive disturbances. However, the underlying mechanisms and possible preventions are still unknown. In this study, we used a mouse model to examine the effects of exposure to extremely low-frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic fields (ELF MFs) on a recognition memory task and morphological changes of hippocampal neurons. The data showed that ELF MFs exposure (1 mT, 12 h/day) induced a time-dependent deficit in novel object associative recognition memory and also decreased hippocampal dendritic spine density. This effect was observed without corresponding changes in spontaneous locomotor activity and was transient, which has only been seen after exposing mice to ELF MFs for 7-10 days. The over-expression of hippocampal neuritin, an activity-dependent neurotrophic factor, using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector significantly increased the neuritin level and dendritic spine density. This increase was paralleled with ELF MFs exposure-induced deficits in recognition memory and reductions of dendritic spine density. Collectively, our study provides evidence for the association between ELF MFs exposure, impairment of recognition memory, and resulting changes in hippocampal dendritic spine density. Neuritin prevented this ELF MFs-exposure-induced effect by increasing the hippocampal spine density.

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