60 Hz magnetic field exposure induces DNA crosslinks in rat brain cells

Mutat Res. 1998 May 25;400(1-2):313-20. doi: 10.1016/s0027-5107(98)00017-7.


In previous research, we found an increase in DNA strand breaks in brain cells of rats acutely exposed to a 60 Hz magnetic field (for 2 h at an intensity of 0.5 mT). DNA strand breaks were measured with a microgel electrophoresis assay using the length of DNA migration as an index. In the present experiment, we found that most of the magnetic field-induced increase in DNA migration was observed only after proteinase-K treatment, suggesting that the field caused DNA-protein crosslinks. In addition, when brain cells from control rats were exposed to X-rays, an increase in DNA migration was observed, the extent of which was independent of proteinase-K treatment. However, the X-ray-induced increase in DNA migration was retarded in cells from animals exposed to magnetic fields even after proteinase-K treatment, suggesting that DNA-DNA crosslinks were also induced by the magnetic field. The effects of magnetic fields were also compared with those of a known DNA crosslink-inducing agent mitomycin C. The pattern of effects is similar between the two agents. These data suggest that both DNA-protein and DNA-DNA crosslinks are formed in brain cells of rats after acute exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / pharmacology
  • DNA / drug effects
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA / radiation effects*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Electrophoresis
  • Endopeptidase K / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mitomycin / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • X-Rays / adverse effects


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Mitomycin
  • DNA
  • Endopeptidase K