Pulsed extremely low-frequency magnetic fields stimulate microvesicle release from human monocytic leukaemia cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Jan 11;430(2):470-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.12.012. Epub 2012 Dec 10.


Microvesicles are released from cell surfaces constitutively during early apoptosis or upon activation with various stimuli including sublytic membrane attack complex (MAC). This study shows that an alternating current, pulsed, extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (0.3 μT at 10 Hz, 6V AC) induced transient plasma membrane damage that allowed calcium influx. This in turn caused a release of stimulated microvesicles (sMV). When extracellular calcium was chelated with EGTA, sMV biogenesis initiated by ELFMF was markedly reduced and the reduction was less than when the stimulation was the deposition of sublytic MAC. This suggested that pulsed ELFMF resulted in transcellular membrane pores causing organelles to leak additional calcium into the cytoplasm (which EGTA would not chelate) which itself can lead to sMV release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Survival
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Porosity


  • Chelating Agents
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Egtazic Acid
  • Calcium