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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Sep 24;517(3):513-519. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.07.085. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on hippocampal long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 region.

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School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin, 300387, China. Electronic address:
School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin, 300387, China.
State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instruments, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


Exposure to environmental electromagnetic fields, especially to the extremely low-frequency (ELF < 300 Hz) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) might produce modulation effects on neuronal activity. Long-term changes in synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) involved in learning and memory may have contributions to a number of neurological diseases. However, the modulation effects of ELF-EMFs on LTP are not yet fully understood. In our present study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of exposure to ELF-EMFs on LTP in hippocampal CA1 region in rats. Hippocampal slices were exposed to magnetic fields generated by sXcELF system with different frequencies (15, 50, and 100 Hz [Hz]), intensities (0.5, 1, and 2 mT [mT]), and duration (10 s [s], 20 s, 40 s, 60 s, and 5 min), then the baseline signal recordings for 20 min and the evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded. We found that the LTP amplitudes decreased after magnetic field exposure, and the LTP amplitudes decreased in proportion to exposure doses and durations, suggesting ELF-EMFs may have dose and duration-dependent inhibition effects. Among multiple exposure duration and doses combinations, upon 5 min magnetic field exposure, 15 Hz/2 mT maximally inhibited LTP. Under 15 Hz/2 mT ELF-EMFs, LTP amplitude decreases in proportion to the length of exposure durations within 5 min time frame. Our findings illustrated the potential effects of ELF-EMFs on synaptic plasticity and will lead to better understanding of the influence on learning and memory.


Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; Hippocampal CA1 area; Long-term potentiation; Short-term effects of ELF-EMF exposure; Synaptic plasticity


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