Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) have the ability to produce a variety of behavioral and physiological changes in animals. The stomach, as the most sensitive part of the neuroendocrine organ of the gastrointestinal tract, is crucial for the initiation of a full stress response against all harmful stress. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine whether ELF-MF stimuli induce changes in the activity of neuroendocrine cells, considering their involvement in endocrine or paracrine effect on surrounding cells. The exposure to ELF-MF (durations of 24 h and 1 or 2 weeks, 60 Hz frequency, 0.1 mT intensity) altered the distribution and occurrence of gastrin, ghrelin and somatostatin-positive endocrine cells in the stomach of rats. The change, however, in the secretion of those hormones into blood from endocrine cells did not appear significantly with ELF-MF exposure. Comparing with sham control, ELF-MF exposure for 1 and 2 week induced an increase in BaSO(4) suspension propelling ratio of gastrointestinal tract, indicating that ELF-MF affects gastrointestinal motility. Our study revealed that ELF-MF exposure might influence the activity of endocrine cells, an important element of the intrinsic regulatory system in the digestive tract. The pathophysiological character of these changes and the mechanism responsible for neuroendocrine cell are still unclear and require further studies.
Keywords: ELF-MF; Gastrin; Ghrelin; Somatostatin.