The reason for hyper magnetosensitivity of young animals compared to older ones remains unclear. It has been suggested that age-induced tissue dehydration (decreased water content) could be a basis for the aging-related decrease in the organism's magnetosensitivity. To test this hypothesis, the effect of a 0.2 T static magnetic field (SMF) exposure on heart muscle hydration in three age groups of rats (young, adult, and older) was studied, with and without ouabain poisoning. The SMF exposure resulted in heart muscle dehydration of young (21%) and adult (6.2%) rats but had no effect on older animals. In young animals without ouabin poisoning, SMF exposure caused dehydration of the heart muscle while in the ouabain-poisoned animals it led to hydration (29.6%). These hydration effects were more pronounced in young animals than in adult and older animals. The increased hydration (5.7%) of heart muscles in older animals was evoked by providing distilled water for seven days, which elevated (by 12%) the SMF-induced heart muscle hydration effect. These results suggest that the hyper magnetosensitivity of the young heart muscle and the lower sensitivity of older animals are due to initial high (83.5%) and low (75.3%) tissue hydration levels, respectively. Therefore, the age-induced decrease in the magnetosensitivity of heart muscle is likely to be a result of Na(+)/K(+) pump dysfunction.
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