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J Radiat Res. 2017 Jul 1;58(4):474-486. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrx012.

The effects of 50 Hz magnetic field exposure on DNA damage and cellular functions in various neurogenic cells.

Su L1,2, Yimaer A1, Wei X1, Xu Z1,3, Chen G1,3.

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Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China.
Department of Clinical Medicine, Jiangxi Medical College, 399 Zhimi Road, Shangrao 331000, China.
Institute of Environmental Health, Zhejiang University School of Public Health, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China.


Epidemiological studies have indicated a possible association between extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) exposure and the risk of nervous system diseases. However, laboratory studies have not provided consistent results for clarifying this association, despite many years of studies. In this study, we have systematically investigated the effects of 50 Hz MF exposure on DNA damage and cellular functions in both neurogenic tumor cell lines (U251, A172, SH-SY5Y) and primary cultured neurogenic cells from rats (astrocytes, microglia, cortical neurons). The results showed that exposure to a 50 Hz MF at 2.0 mT for up to 24 h did not influence γH2AX foci formation (an early marker of DNA double-strand breaks) in any of six different neurogenic cells. Exposure to a 50 Hz MF did not affect cell cycle progression, cell proliferation or cell viability in neurogenic tumor U251, A172 or SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, the MF exposure for 24 h did not significantly affect the secretion of cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 or IL-1β) in astrocytes or microglia, or the phagocytic activity of microglia. In addition, MF exposure for 1 h per day did not significantly influence expression levels of microtubule-associated protein tau, microtubule-associated protein 2, postsynaptic density 95 or gephyrin in cortical neurons, indicating an absence of effects of MF exposure on the development of cortical neurons. In conclusion, our data suggest that exposure to a 50 Hz MF at 2.0 mT did not elicit DNA damage effects or abnormal cellular functions in the neurogenic cells studied.


DNA damage; cellular functions; magnetic fields; neurogenic cell

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