Cytotoxic effects of moderate static magnetic field exposure on human periphery blood mononuclear cells are influenced by Val16Ala-MnSOD gene polymorphism

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Feb;24(5):5078-5088. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-8176-x. Epub 2016 Dec 21.


Technological advancement has increasingly exposed humans to magnetic fields (MFs). However, more insights are necessary into the potential toxicity of MF exposure as a result of genetic variations related to oxidative metabolism. Therefore, the following study has assessed an in vitro cytotoxic effect of static magnetic field (SMF) (5 mT) on cells with Val16Ala polymorphism (AA, VA, and VV) in the manganese superoxide dismutase gene. Homozygous Val16Ala-superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) genotypes present oxidative imbalance that is associated with risk to several chronic degenerative diseases (VV produces less efficient and AA more efficient SOD2 enzyme). Blood samples from healthy adult subject carriers with different Val16Ala-SOD2 genotypes were obtained and exposed to MF at different times (0, 1, 3, 6 h). The cytotoxic effect as well as oxidative stress was evaluated after incubation of 24 h at 37 °C. In addition, apoptosis induction has been analyzed by flow cytometry as well as Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX), B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2), and caspases 8 and 3 gene expression. SMF cytotoxic effect has been observed in AA cells at all times of exposure, whereas AV cells presented higher mortality only after 6 h of exposure at SMF. Higher apoptosis induction has been observed in AA cells when compared to VV and AV cells. These results suggest a toxicogenetic SMF effect related to an imbalance in SOD2 activity.

Keywords: Genotype; Magnetic field; Oxidative stress; PBMC; SOD2.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Magnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics*


  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • superoxide dismutase 2