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PLoS One. 2016 Sep 9;11(9):e0162675. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162675. eCollection 2016.

Coupling Mechanism of Electromagnetic Field and Thermal Stress on Drosophila melanogaster.

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Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, P. R. China.
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China.
Xiamen University, Xiamen, P. R. China.


Temperature is an important factor in research on the biological effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF), but interactions between ELF-EMF and temperature remain unknown. The effects of ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 3 mT) on the lifespan, locomotion, heat shock response (HSR), and oxidative stress (OS) of Canton-Special (CS) and mutant w1118 flies were investigated at 25°C and 35°C (thermal stress). Results showed that thermal stress accelerated the death rates of CS and w1118 flies, shortened their lifespan, and influenced their locomotion rhythm and activity. The upregulated expression levels of heat shock protein (HSP) 22, HSP26, and HSP70 indicated that HSR was enhanced. Thermal stress-induced OS response increased malondialdehyde content, enhanced superoxide dismutase activity, and decreased reactive oxygen species level. The effects of thermal stress on the death rates, lifespan, locomotion, and HSP gene expression of flies, especially w1118 line, were also enhanced by ELF-EMF. In conclusion, thermal stress weakened the physiological function and promoted the HSR and OS of flies. ELF-EMF aggravated damages and enhanced thermal stress-induced HSP and OS response. Therefore, thermal stress and ELF-EMF elicited a synergistic effect.

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