Sinusoidal ELF magnetic fields affect acetylcholinesterase activity in cerebellum synaptosomal membranes

Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 May;31(4):270-6. doi: 10.1002/bem.20563.


The effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of synaptosomal membranes were investigated. Sinusoidal fields with 50 Hz frequency and different amplitudes caused AChE activity to decrease about 27% with a threshold of about 0.74 mT. The decrease in enzymatic activity was independent of the time of permanence in the field and was completely reversible. Identical results were obtained with exposure to static MF of the same amplitudes. Moreover, the inhibitory effects on enzymatic activity are spread over frequency windows with different maximal values at 60, 200, 350, and 475 Hz. When synaptosomal membranes were solubilized with Triton, ELF-MF did not affect AChE activity, suggesting the crucial role of the membrane, as well as the lipid linkage of the enzyme, in determining the conditions for inactivation. The results are discussed in order to give an interpretation at molecular level of the macroscopic effects produced by ELF-MF on biological systems, in particular the alterations of embryo development in many organisms due to acetylcholine accumulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / enzymology*
  • Cerebellum / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Mice
  • Synaptosomes / enzymology*
  • Synaptosomes / radiation effects*


  • Acetylcholinesterase