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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1998 May 8;54(1):63-76.

Increased apoptosis, changes in intracellular Ca2+, and functional alterations in lymphocytes and macrophages after in vitro exposure to static magnetic field.

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TOXEN and Départment des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.


Electromagnetic-related alteration of cellular functions is well documented for extremely low-frequency low-energy pulsing electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF). In this study we examined the in vitro effects of static magnetic fields (SMF) on the cellular immune parameters of the C57BI/6 murine macrophages, spleen lymphocytes, and thymic cells. The cells were exposed in vitro for 24 h at 37 degrees C, 5% CO2, to 250-1500 G SMF. Exposure to the SMF resulted in the decreased phagocytic uptake of fluorescent latex microspheres, which was accompanied by an increased intracellular Ca2+ level in macrophages. Exposure to SMF decreased mitogenic responses in lymphocytes, as determined by incorporation of [3H]thymidine into the cells. This was associated with the increased Ca2+ influx in concanavalin A-stimulated lymphocytes. Furthermore, exposure to SMF produced markedly increased apoptosis of thymic cells, as determined by flow cytometry. Overall, in vitro exposure of immunocompetent cells to 250-1500 G SMF altered several functional parameters of C57BI/6 murine macrophages, thymocytes, and spleen lymphocytes.

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