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Growth Factors. 1996;13(3-4):205-17.

Exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields has no effect on growth rate or clonogenic potential of multipotential haemopoietic progenitor cells.

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  • 1Cancer Research Campaign Department of Physics & Instrumentation, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK.


Recent reports indicate an increased risk of acute myeloid leukaemia in children exposed to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELFMFs) emitted by high voltage power lines, suggesting that ELFMFs may act as weak tumour promoters. We have investigated possible interactions of weak ELFMFs with primitive haemopoietic cells in vitro using the multipotential progenitor cell line FDCP-mix(A4). We have determined the proliferative activity and clonogenic potential of cells under both optimal and sub-optimal growth conditions and exposed to either ambient laboratory ELFMFs or three other ELFMF regimes representative of those produced by high voltage power lines: nulled fields, Ca2+-ion cyclotron resonance conditions at 50 Hz, and vertical 50 Hz fields of 6 muT(RMS). Using exposures of 1, 4, 7 and 21 days, we found no significant alteration of growth rate, cell-cycle state or clonogenic efficiency indicating that neither the proliferation nor self-renewal of multipotential FDCP-mix(A4) cells was perturbed.

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