Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) is produced extensively in modern technologies. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that ELF-EMF has both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on the immune system response. This review was conducted on effects of ELF-EMF on cytokines of innate and adaptive immunity. Mechanisms of ELF-EMF, which may modulate immune cell responses, were also studied. Physical and biological parameters of ELF-EMF can interact with each other to create beneficial or harmful effect on the immune cell responses by interfering with the inflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines. According to the studies, it is supposed that short-term (2-24 h/d up to a week) exposure of ELF-EMF with strong density may increase innate immune response due to an increase of innate immunity cytokines. Furthermore, long-term (2-24 h/d up to 8 years) exposure to low-density ELF-EMF may cause a decrease in adaptive immune response, especially in Th1 subset.
Keywords: Immune system; cytokine; extremely low frequency electromagnetic field.