Cell type-specific genotoxic effects of intermittent extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields

Mutat Res. 2005 Jun 6;583(2):184-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2005.03.011.


The issue of adverse health effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) is highly controversial. Contradictory results regarding the genotoxic potential of ELF-EMF have been reported in the literature. To test whether this controversy might reflect differences between the cellular targets examined we exposed cultured cells derived from different tissues to an intermittent ELF-EMF (50 Hz sinusoidal, 1 mT) for 1-24h. The alkaline and neutral comet assays were used to assess ELF-EMF-induced DNA strand breaks. We could identify three responder (human fibroblasts, human melanocytes, rat granulosa cells) and three non-responder cell types (human lymphocytes, human monocytes, human skeletal muscle cells), which points to the significance of the cell system used when investigating genotoxic effects of ELF-EMF.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects*
  • Granulosa Cells / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / radiation effects*
  • Monocytes / radiation effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Time Factors