50 Hz electromagnetic field produced changes in FTIR spectroscopy associated with mitochondrial transmembrane potential reduction in neuronal-like SH-SY5Y cells

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013:2013:414393. doi: 10.1155/2013/414393. Epub 2013 Jul 16.


SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were used as an experimental model to study the effects of 50 Hz electromagnetic field, in the range from 50 µ T to 1.4 mT. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis evidenced a reduction in intensity of the amide A band and a slight increase of vibration bands at 2921 cm(-1) and 2853 cm(-1) corresponding to methylene groups. A further increase of the magnetic field intensity of exposure up to 0.8 mT and 1.4 mT produced a clear increase in intensity of CH2 vibration bands. Moreover, it has been observed some alterations in the amide I region, such as a shifted peak of the amide I band to a smaller wavenumber, probably due to protein conformational changes. These results suggested that exposure to extremely low electromagnetic fields influenced lipid components of cellular membrane and the N-H in-plane bending and C-N stretching vibrations of peptide linkages, modifying the secondary structures of α -helix and β -sheet contents and producing unfolding process in cell membrane proteins. The observed changes after exposure to 50 Hz electromagnetic field higher than 0.8 mT were associated with a significant reduction of cell viability and reduced mitochondrial transmembrane potential.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / physiology*
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared / methods*