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Bioelectromagnetics. 2018 Oct;39(7):539-546. doi: 10.1002/bem.22146. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

The effect of 20-week continuous 60 Hz magnetic field exposure on testicular function in sprague-dawley rats.

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Institute of Medical Science, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea.
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea.
Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea.
Department of Pathology, Chuncheon Sacred Hospital Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea.
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, South Korea.
School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Dankook University, Yong-In, South Korea.


Accumulating evidence does not yet confirm the effect of power line frequency magnetic field (MF) on human health and fertility. We recently reported that, at continuous 60 Hz MF exposure in mice, the dose given as magnetic flux density (tesla; T) and duration of exposure was related to induce testicular germ cell apoptosis. We aimed to characterize the effect of a 20-week continuous exposure to 60 Hz MF on the motility, morphology, and number of sperm as well as the apoptosis of testicular germ cell in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed for 20 weeks to 60 Hz MF of 2, 20, or 200 μT for 24 h/day with rats exposed to sham conditions, serving as the control. The exposure to 60 Hz MF of 2 and 20 μT had no effects on testicular in this study. The exposure to 60 Hz MF of 200 μT for 20 weeks induced increases of the apoptotic cells (P < 0.001) in germ cells and decreases of sperm numbers (P < 0.05). However, the MF did not significantly affect the body or testis mass, seminiferous tubule diameter, or the motility or morphology of sperm. This study concluded that exposure to 60 Hz MF of 200 μT can increase testicular germ cell apoptosis, especially spermatogonia, and reduce sperm count. Also compared to previous mice studies, rats are less sensitive than mice to exposure to 60 Hz MF. Bioelectromagnetics. 39:539-546, 2018.


60 Hz magnetic field; apoptosis; germ cells; seminiferous tubule; testis

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