Consequences of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation during early pregnancy - androgen synthesis and release from the myometrium of pigs in vitro

Anim Reprod Sci. 2020 Jul:218:106465. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106465. Epub 2020 May 11.


An electromagnetic field (EMF) has been found to affect reproductive processes in females. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of low, non-ionizing EMF radiation on the steroidogenic activity of myometrium collected from pigs during the fetal peri-implantation period. Myometrial slices were treated with an EMF (50 and 120 Hz, 2 and 4 h of incubation) and examined for the aromatase cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/C17-20lyase (CYP17A1) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5-Δ4 isomerase (HSD3B1) mRNA transcript abundance, cytochrome P450c17 and 3βHSD protein abundance and the secretion of androstenedione (A4) and testosterone (T). To determine whether progesterone (P4) functions as a protectant from EMF radiation, the selected slices were treated with P4. In slices incubated without P4, EMF at 50 Hz altered cytochrome P450c17 protein abundance (4 h), HSD3B1 mRNA transcript abundance (4 h) and A4 release (2 h) as well as T release (2 h) in P4-treated slices. The EMF at 120 Hz in non P4-treated slices altered A4 release (2 and 4 h) whereas in P4-treated slices altered CYP17A1 mRNA transcript abundance (4 h), 3βHSD protein abundance (4 h), A4 (4 h) and T release (2 h). In conclusion, EMF radiation in the myometrium collected during the peri-implantation period alters the CYP17A1 and HSD3B1 mRNA transcript and encoded protein abundance, and androgen release due to the time of treatment and P4 presence or absence. The P4 did not function directly as an obvious protector against EMF radiation in the myometrium of pigs during the fetal peri-implantation period.

Keywords: Androgens; CYP17A1; Electromagnetic field; HSD3B1; Pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / biosynthesis*
  • Androgens / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / radiation effects
  • Myometrium / metabolism
  • Myometrium / radiation effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone / pharmacology
  • Progesterone Reductase / genetics
  • Progesterone Reductase / metabolism
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / genetics
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Steroid Isomerases / genetics
  • Steroid Isomerases / metabolism
  • Swine / metabolism*


  • Androgens
  • Progesterone
  • Progesterone Reductase
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Steroid Isomerases