Short-Term Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Inhibits Synaptic Plasticity of Schaffer Collateral-CA1 Synapses in Rat Hippocampus via the Ca 2+/Calcineurin Pathway

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2021 Oct 6;12(19):3550-3557. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.1c00500. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


In this study, we investigate the intrinsic mechanism by which an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) influences neurons in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 (SC-CA1) region of rat hippocampus using electrophysiological techniques. ELF-EMF has an interesting effect on synaptic plasticity: it weakens long-term potentiation and enhances long-term depression. Here, the magnetic field effect disappeared after a blockade of voltage-gated calcium channels and calcineurin, which are key components in the Ca2+/calcineurin pathway, with two blockers, cadmium chloride and cyclosporin A. This fully establishes that the effect of ELF-EMF on synaptic plasticity is mediated by the Ca2+/calcineurin pathway and represents a novel technique for studying the specific mechanisms of action of ELF-EMF on learning and memory.

Keywords: Ca2+ influx; Ca2+/calcineurin pathway; ELF-EMF stimulation; SC-CA1 synapses; hippocampal slices in vitro; synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcineurin*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Rats
  • Synapses


  • Calcineurin