The effect of extremely low frequency magnetic field on the conjunctiva and goblet cells

Curr Eye Res. 2008 May;33(5):441-6. doi: 10.1080/02713680802074867.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF MF) on the conjunctiva and goblet cells density.

Methods: Thirty adult female Spraque Dawley rats were assigned to one of two groups, each containing 15 rats. The experimental group received magnetic field 4 hr/day for 7 days. The second group received standard laboratory care and served as a control. The specimens were evaluated by light microscopy for goblet cell density, conjunctival edema, inflammation, and fibroblast proliferation.

Results: In ELF MF exposure group rats, the number of goblet cells was less than the control group. We also observed a significant difference between ELF MF exposure group and control group in terms of goblet cell density (p = 0.010). The ELF MF exposure group manifested conjunctival edema and inflammation compared to the control group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.003). There was no statistical difference between the groups for fibroblast proliferation (p = 0.422).

Conclusion: This study suggests that ELF MF exposure leads to morphological alterations of the conjunctiva and reductions in the number of goblet cells. We believe that ELF MF may cause dry eye symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Conjunctiva / radiation effects*
  • Conjunctivitis / etiology*
  • Conjunctivitis / pathology
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / pathology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Goblet Cells / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley