|Cell; Cell nucleus; Cell membrane; Microwaves; Magnetic
|The problem of the influence of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) on
biological objects has a long history. Now this problem attracts keen
public interest in connection to increase of “electromagnetic pollution”
of environment. In this century by Banik S, Bandyopadhyay S, Ganguly
S (2003); Vorst AV, Rosen A, Kotsuka Y (2006); Barnes FS, Greenebaum
B (2007); Furse C, Christensen DA, Durney CH (2009) are reviewed
the main facts of EMFs effects on cells [1-4]. Th e medical applications
of EMFs are reviewed by Rosch PJ, Markov MS (2004); Andrä W,
Nowak H (2007); Markov MS (2007) [5-7]. Some of theoretical models
proposed to explain the basic phenomena associated with cell exposure
to EMF are presented in review articles [8-21].
|Now some new data are emerging and the approaches to the
problem of the action of electromagnetic factors on cells are changing
in accordance to the new developments in biology as a whole. I would
like to present the brief description of the main directions of research
in this field.
|The most important, in our opinion, are three primary biological
mechanisms of action of EMFs on cell. First, the action on cell
membranes, second, the action on free radical concentration in cell, and
the third, the action of EMF on intracellular regulatory systems. The
known effects of EMFs on numerous isolated enzyme reactions may
acquire the biological meaning in their connection to the mentioned
|Traditionally, the biological effects of EMFs are divided in two
groups: “thermal” and “non-thermal”. For microwave radiation the
EMF irradiation with the level of surface power density less than 10
mW/cm2 is assumed as not inducing the significant thermal effects in
the biological objects and the effects of microwaves with surface power
density more than 10 mW/cm2 as “thermal” . This classification
is provisional, but it enables to separate the effects of EMFs related
mainly with heating of biological tissue. In this work we will discuss
non-thermal effects of EMFs. First, in order to show the importance
of the issues discussed for humans we consider some of the effects of
electromagnetic fields on human organism.
|Effects of Exposure to Anthropogenic EMFs on Human
|The environmental and health effects of electromagnetic radiation
produced by mobile phones, mobile phone base stations, TV transmitting towers, and some medical equipment induce public concern. Some
investigations analyzing the health effects of the electromagnetic
radiation produced by these sources of electromagnetic radiation are
|Electromagnetic fields of Radiofrequency (RF) range cover wide
spectrum of frequencies. The ionosphere very effectively shields
the earth’s biosphere from radiations of this type originating in
space. Electromagnetic fields and radiation of high intensity may be
generated by natural electrical phenomena such as those accompanying
thunderstorms. However, in the frequency range of 100 kHz to 300
GHz, the intensity of natural fields and radiation is low. Exposure of
the urban population in the USA to man-made microwave sources
was found by Janes (1979) to vary from a very low value to as high as
100 μW/cm2. The median exposure to the total microwave flux from
external sources for this population was calculated to be 0.005 μW/cm2.
Although concern about microwave and RF effects and possible hazards
arose first in highly developed countries, the problem is universal .
|The mobile telephony is widespread in the modern world. The data
about the usage of mobile telephony are presented in review : “In
2010, cell phone subscribers in the U.S. numbered 287 million, Russia
220 million, Germany 111 million, Italy 87 million, Great Britain 81
million, France 62 million, and Spain 57 million”. The ‘‘microwave
sickness syndrome’’ among people working with microwaves was
first described in Soviet and Polish medicine, this syndrome includes
fatigue, dermographism, headaches, insomnia, changes in blood
pressure, tumors, impotence, skin symptoms and memory impairment,
among others. The skepticism about this syndrome was expressed in
the West, but now is admitted the possible neurological basis for this
syndrome [24,25]. It was proved that there was a significant relation of
some symptoms to measured EMF power density; this was highest for
headaches. authors express their opinion that despite very low exposure to HF-EMF, effects on wellbeing and performance cannot be ruled out,
however, mechanisms of action at low EMF levels are unknown .
|In many investigations the frequency of micronuclei and
chromosomal aberrations tests which indicate the level of genetic
damage (genotoxic effects) are used. Micronuclei are emerging in cells
after action of different factors (mutagenic factors) which influence
the process of cell division or the process of origin of mutations.
Chromosome aberrations are the impairments in chromosome structure
visible in light microscope. The results of one of such investigations
show that there was no significant difference of micronucleus frequency
and chromosomal aberrations in human blood cells between the groups
of people living around mobile phone base stations and control group
|Some investigations indicate an increased risk for cancer - acoustic
neuroma and glioma after >10 years of mobile phone usage. Authors
conclude that current standard for exposure to microwaves during
mobile phone use is not safe for long-term exposure and needs to be
revised [16,28]. But the increased cancer risk among mobile telephone
users is not detected by some investigators. It was observed no increased
risk for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma of
the head and neck, little evidence of an increased skin cancer risk was
observed among mobile phone users after at least 13 years of mobile
telephone usage .
|The association between childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
and power lines was revealed. This study emphasizes on risk of acute
lymphoblastic leukemia following living close to overhead high voltage
power lines. Authors propose consider legal limitation for building
constructions in at least 600 meters from high voltage power lines .
|To investigate the risk of early childhood cancers associated with
the mother’s exposure to radiofrequency radiation from mobile phone
base stations (masts) during pregnancy. It was demonstrated that is no
association between the risk of early childhood cancers and mother’s
exposure to mobile phone base stations during pregnancy .
|The epidemiological evidence suggests an association between
occupational exposure to ELF-EMF and Alzheimer disease. However,
some limitations affecting the results from this meta-analysis should be
|The possible health hazardous effects of magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) were also explored. While the whole data does not
confirm a risk hypothesis, it suggests a need for further studies and
prudent use in order to avoid unnecessary examinations, according
to the precautionary principle . In 2003, the FDA declared nonsignificant
risk status for MRI clinical systems generating static fields
up to 8T .
|In spite of existing of some investigations indicating the negative
health impact of EMF the general estimation of the EMF-induced health
hazard was optimistic. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection makes such conclusion based on the analysis of
many epidemiologic investigations. Results of epidemiological studies
to date give no consistent or convincing evidence of a causal relation
between RF exposure and any adverse health effect. On the other hand,
these studies have too many deficiencies to rule out an association. In
the last few years the epidemiologic evidence on mobile phone use and
risk of brain and other tumors of the head has grown considerably. In
opinion of members of International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection, overall the studies published to date do not
demonstrate a raised risk within approximately ten years of use for any tumor of the brain or any other head tumor . Nevertheless, the
WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated
the extremely low frequency magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to
humans (Group 2B). Static magnetic fields and static and extremely low
frequency electric fields could not be classified as to carcinogenicity to
humans . IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields
as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased
risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, which is associated
with wireless phone use .
|The problem of adequate assessment of EMF influence on human
organism is very important. We believe that the state of individual cell
in our organism is directly linked to the state of the whole organism.
Stress-related changes in the cell nucleus are generally associated with
transitions of main cell nucleus component chromatin from the diffused
state euchromatin to more condensed state – heterochromatin. We
propose to use euchromatin → heterochromatin transitions in cells of
human buccal epithelium (cells from the surface of the cheek’s mucosa)
to assess the EMF-induced effects. As a criterion for determination of
changes in the state of human buccal epithelium cell under the EMF
action we proposed the Heterochromatin Granule Quantity (HGQ) in
the cell nucleus .
|EMF Action on Cell Membranes
|The interest of investigators to EMFs effects on the cell membranes
was stimulated by the theoretical work . The author drives a
conclusion very interesting to biologists. It should be remembered that
cells have a membrane of about 10-6 cm thickness which maintains a
very strong dipolar layer. In the (from the point of view of physics)
complicated shape of a cell surface, local vibrations of a part of the cell
membrane are feasible such that the positive and the negative part of a
particular section of the membrane vibrate against each other leading to
an oscillating electric dipole. Its frequency is of the order 1011-1012 sec-1 if a sound velocity in the layer of order 105-106 cm/sec perpendicular
to the surface is assumed . Indeed in many experimental works the
effects of microwaves upon biological membranes were observed. The
increase of cell membrane permeability to sodium and potassium ions
was demonstrated [40-42]. Interestingly, that the microwave-induced
increase of permeability to sodium ions was found to be reversible and
returns to normal level within 60 min . As it was supposed that
the increase of permeability to ions is due to “micro-thermal” effects in
cell membranes induced by microwaves . Now the corresponding
calculations of EMF-induced thermal gradients in membranes are
done. The calculation on the impact of electric field induced thermal
gradients across the plasma membrane may be applied to either Pulsed
Electric Fields (PEFs) or Alternating Current (AC) fields . The socalled
“resonance” effects of microwaves on membrane permeability,
i.e. the effect may be induced by EMF of the strictly determined
wavelength and not induced at near frequencies, also were discussed
. It was demonstrated that in cells of algae Nitellopsis obtusa exposed to microwaves at frequencies of microwaves of 49, 70 and 76
GHz the chloride transmembrane current increased by 200 - 400%, at
frequencies of 41.5 but at 71 GHz it decreased .
|The microwave-induced effects (frequency of 37,5; 18,75 and 36.64
GHz) of increase of permeability of cell membranes to cytological
stains (vital dyes) in living human buccal epithelium cells were reported
[46,47]. Interestingly, that microwave-induced change in permeability
to vital dye may recover in 2 hour period .
|The effects of exposure to a 50 Hz magnetic field (maximum of 41.7
to 43.6 mT) on the membrane protein structures of living HeLa cells were studied using attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy.
One min of such exposure shifted peak absorbance of the amide I band
to a smaller wave number, reduced peak absorbance of the amide II
band, and increased absorbance at around 1600 cm-1. These results
suggest that exposure to the ELF magnetic field has reversible effects
on the peptide linkages, and changes the secondary structures of cell
membrane proteins .
|The experiments were also held in model membranes . The
suspension of egg lecithin multilamellar vesicles (liposomes) was
exposed to 900 MHz microwave radiation for 5 h. Specific Absorption
Rate (SAR) of the radiation for the investigated liposome sample was 12
± 1 W/kg. Liposomal changes were monitored using a light scattering
technique. Optical anisotropy of the liposome sample decreased
dramatically upon exposure to microwave radiation, indicating
structural changes in acyl chain packing. Infrared (IR) and Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance ((1)H NMR) studies showed an increased damage
upon exposure to microwaves. The changes observed in the (1)H NMR
spectrum of the microwave exposed sample indicated hydrolysis of
carboxylic and phosphoric esters. IR study showed conformational
changes in the acyl chains of the lipids upon microwave exposure.
However, both IR and (31)P NMR did not show any appreciable changes
in the head group part of the lipids .
|A critical evaluation of three theories that describes the effects of
weak electromagnetic fields on channel proteins in the cell membrane
was done .
|EMF Action on Free Radical Concentration in Cell
|A free radical is a molecule or atom that has unpaired valence
electrons. Free radicals are formed in cells and are involved in many
intracellular processes. These compounds are capable to react with the
cell structures causing their deterioration, so their excess is unfavourable.
In particular, the free radical excess induces mutations and apoptosis –
the programmed cell death. The ‘‘radical pair mechanism’’ is proposed
to explain the phenomenon of “compass” in birds [51,52].
|The role of Static Magnetic Field (SMF) in production of free radicals
in cell is discussed in the review . Authors propose that the primary
cause of changes in cells after incubation in external SMF is disruption
of free radical metabolism and elevation of their concentration. Such
disruption causes oxidative stress and, as a result, damages ion channels,
leading to changes in cell morphology and expression of different genes
and proteins and also changes in apoptosis and proliferation . The
review of microwave effects on free radical formation in connection to
male reproductive system one can find in . Many investigations are
analysing the microwave-induced effects on free radical concentration
in cell, the problem of so-called oxidative stress. This problem attracts
public concern in connection with interest to possible hazards of using
mobile telephones. The aspects of the problem of EMF-induced free
radicals in connection with neurodegenerative diseases are reviewed
in review . Some of experimental investigations studying the
microwave-induced changes in the free radical situation in the cell are
|Rats were exposed to 900 MHz EMF for 7 days (1 h/day). In other
experimental groups, rats were exposed to EMF and pretreated with
of Ginkgo biloba extract (Gb). Subsequently, oxidative stress markers
and pathological changes in brain tissue were examined for each
group. Oxidative damage was registered in the experimental group but
these alterations were prevented by Gb treatment. Furthermore, Gb
prevented the EMF-induced cellular injury in brain tissue which was
demonstrated by histopathology methods .
|The exposure of rats to electromagnetic radiation produced by GSM
mobile phone induced in plasma a significant decrease in enzymes that
defend cell from the elevation of free radical level: Catalase (CAT) and
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). The effect of acute doses of EMF on the
rat’s antioxidant status is significantly higher than that of fractionated
doses of the same type of radiation .
|In experiment on male guinea pigs exposed to 890- to 915-MHz
EMF (217-Hz pulse rate, 2-W maximum peak power, SAR 0.95 w/kg)
of a cellular phone for 12 h/day (11-h 45-min stand-by and 15-min
spiking mode) for 30 days the changes in free radical marker malonic
aldehyde (MDA) and antioxidant substances were shown. It was found
that the MDA level increased (P<0.05), glutathione level and CAT
enzyme activity decreased (P<0.05), and vitamins A, E and D(3) levels
did not change (P>0.05) in the brain tissues of EMF-exposed guinea
pigs. It was concluded that electromagnetic field emitted from cellular
phone might produce oxidative stress in brain tissue of guinea pigs .
|In experiments on Wistar female rats exposed to PC irradiation of
monitor of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) type the changes in eye corneal
and lens tissues were investigated. In corneal tissue, MDA levels and
CAT activity were found to increase in the computer group compared
with the control group. Regarding lens tissue, MDA levels SOD activity
and glutathione peroxidase activity (GSH-Px – the enzyme protecting
cell from oxidative damage) were found to increase, as compared to the
control group. The authors suppose that results of this study suggest
that computer monitor radiation leads to oxidative stress in the corneal
and lens tissues, and that vitamin C may prevent oxidative effects in the
|If the human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC)
were exposed to the EMF of 900 MHz radiofrequency at a Specific
Absorption Rate (SAR) of ∼0.4W/kg longer than two hours, the
apoptosis (the programmed cell death) is induced. The authors suppose
that the activation of free radicals - Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is
triggered by the conformation disturbance of lipids, protein, and DNA
induced by the cell exposure .
|In experiments with Wister rats located in the vicinity of the base
station, estimated distance was less than 10 m the changes in free radical
concentration were investigated. The frequency of radiation was 1800
MHz, Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) (0.95-2 W/kg) for 40 and/or 60
days continuously. The study demonstrates slight decrease in the activity
of glutathione reductase, lipid peroxidation as measured by MDA and
total cholesterol in all tissues investigated when rats were exposed
to radiation emitted from base station in 40 days. These parameters
decreased when the period of exposure was extended to 60 days .
|In experiments with the primary cultured cortical neurons exposed
to pulsed electromagnetic fields at a frequency of 1800 MHz modulated
by 217 Hz at an average SAR of 2 W/kg the oxidative damage was
demonstrated . At 24 h after exposure the radiation induced a
significant increase in the levels of 8-hydroxyguanine (8-OHdG), a
common biomarker of DNA oxidative damage, in the mitochondria
of neurons. Concomitant with this finding, the copy number of
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the levels of mitochondrial RNA
(mtRNA) transcripts showed an obvious reduction after RF exposure.
Each of these mtDNA disturbances could be reversed by pretreatment
with melatonin, which is known to be an efficient antioxidant in the
brain. Together, these results suggested that 1800 MHz RF radiation
could cause oxidative damage in mtDNA in primary cultured neurons.
In authors’ opinion the oxidative damage of mtDNA may account for
the neurotoxicity of RF radiation in the brain .
|The investigation of EMF of mobile telephone on oxidation situation
in rat sperm was done . The frequency of the cell phone was 900
MHz, pulse GSM mode. The specific absorption rate was estimated to
be 0.9 W/kg. The MDA concentration, SOD, CAT, and GPx activity
were determined in sperm samples. The result shows a significant MDA
increase in the mobile phone-exposed group as compared with the
control ones. The reduction in GPx and SOD activity and an increase
in CAT activity were observed after animal exposure to microwaves.
Authors conclude that overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
under microwave field exposure. Authors propose hypothetical scheme
of action of EMF on enzyme histone kinase activity, micronuclei,
cell cycle, and antioxidant enzymes via increase of intracellular
concentration of free radicals as a primary mechanism .
|In male Fischer-344 rats exposed to 900 MHz microwave radiation
(SAR = 5.9 x 10-4 W/kg) and 1800 MHz microwave radiation (SAR =
5.8 x 10-4 W/kg) for 30 days (2 h/day) the significant impairment in
cognitive function and induction of oxidative stress in brain tissues was
|As one can see, the microwave irradiation produces the oxidation
stress in different tissues of laboratory animals and antioxidants added
to animal nutrition may to definite extent prevent such consequences
of microwave exposure. As antioxidants were used the extract of Gínkgo
biloba , vitamin E and vitamin A , vitamins A, E and D ,
vitamin C , and even garlic .
|The low-energy EMFs of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) also
induce the oxidative stress [65-68], but such effect is not always
registered [69,70]. The prolongation of ELF exposure can result in
adaptation to this factor .
|It was supposed that the cell membranes may be the target of ROS
 so the membrane permeabilization may be induced by the EMFresulted
ROS overproduction. At the same time the highly significant
relationships was established between SAR, the oxidative DNA damage
bio-marker, 8-OH-dG, and DNA fragmentation after microwave
(1.8 GHz SAR from 0.4 W/kg to 27.5 W/kg) exposure of human
spermatozoa . About the analogous oxidative damage induced by
EMF in rats mitochondrial DNA it was mentioned above . So, the
oxidative stress produced by EMFs may be the cause different negative
consequences of EMF – micronuclei formation [61,73-75] and DNA
strand breaks [76-78].
|The Action of EMF on Intracellular Regulatory Systems
|The fact that EMFs may regulate gene expression was demonstrated
in many experimental works. Mainly the interest of researchers is
concentrated on genes coding the proteins connected with the process
of regulation of gene activity, for instance, the proteins c-jun, c-myc;
or proteins connected with stress reaction of cells, first of all so-called
heat shock proteins, for instance, hsp-70; or very important regulatory
proteins p53 and p21. There are evidences of microwave exposure (1,71
GHz) influence on hsp70, c-jun, c-myc, and p21 levels in p53-deficient
cells, but not in wild-type cells . The EMF-induced changes of the
transcript level of cell cycle regulatory and apoptosis-related genes
were shown [80,81]. The 3.5 fold upregulation of mRNA stress-related
transcription factor bZIP after exposure to 900 MHz microwaves
was shown . After the exposure of human lens epithelial cells to
1800-MHz GSM-like radiation for 2 h (SAR - 1.0, -3.5 W/kg) four
proteins were upregulated. The heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) and
heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) were among
upregulated proteins . The proteomic analysis revealed fourteen
proteins specifically up-regulated by EMF (GSM 1800, 2 W/kg) in Jurkat cells. Th e examples of proteins specifically up-regulated by
EMF are: heat shock protein 70, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase
14 and 26S protease regulatory subunit 6B . Evidences of EMFinduced
changes in transcriptiome (all transcripts synthesized by one
cell or group of cells, including mRNA and non-coding RNA) and
proteome (all proteins synthesized by one cell or group of cells) one
may find in [84-86].
|The EMF-induced changes in transcriptome and proteome are
not registered in several studies. For instance, to seek alterations in
gene transcription in bone marrow cells following in vivo exposure of
juvenile mice to power frequency magnetic fields, young (21–24-day
old) C57BL/6 mice were exposed to a 100 μT 50 Hz magnetic field for
2 h. A pilot experiment with 6 exposed (E) and 6 non-exposed (NE)
mice identified four candidate responsive transcripts (two unknown
transcripts (AK152075 and F10-NED), phosphatidylinositol binding
clathrin assembly protein (Picalm) and exportin 7 (Xpo7)). A larger
experiment compared 19 E and 15 NE mice using two independent
QRT-PCR assays and repeated microarray assays. No significant fielddependent
changes were seen, although Picalm showed a trend to
significance in one QRT-PCR assay .
|The experiments in which the EMF-treated cells not revealed
the specific changes in transcription or proteome changes are
described in [88-96]. The differences in results in genomic and
proteomic experiments with EMF-treated cells may be connected with
methodological problems . In our opinion the existence of results
not revealing the EMF-induced changes in transcription not denies
the results of experiments in which such changes were shown. What
theoretic explanations of EMF-induced gene activity regulation are
|In a series of works of R. Goodman and M. Blank and co-authors
some mechanisms of the regulatory action of EMFs on gene activity
were proposed. The activation of binding of both HSF and AP-1 to
DNA is induced by magnetic fields . The genes response to EMFs is
regulated by with Electromagnetic Response Elements. A 900 base pair
segment of the c-myc promoter, containing eight nCTCTn sequences, is
required for the induction of c-myc expression by Electromagnetic (EM)
fields. Similarly, a 70 bp region of the HSP70 promoter, containing three
nCTCTn sequences, is required for the induction of HSP70 expression
by EM fields. These sequences appear to act as Electromagnetic Field
Response Elements (EMREs), since the ability of an EM field to induce
stress proteins gradually disappears as the EMREs are mutated .
The EMF may interact directly with electrons in DNA and the electron
transfer would result in gene expression . Because of the low energy
required, interaction with electrons in H-bonds may be the initial
perturbation that leads double stranded DNA to come apart and begin
the complex process of transcription to messenger RNA . This
model is detailed in . Transfer of charge in electromagnetic field
could contribute to separation of base pairs in DNA. An increase in
local charge can cause separation of small groups of base pairs, and the
low electronegativities of CTCT bases associated with the response to
EMF increase the likelihood of electron displacement. EMF initiated
DNA separation can set in motion the inter-connected biochemical
signaling pathways that are activated in the stress response .
|The EMF-induced effects on calcium concentration in cell are very
interesting in connection with the role of calcium as an intracellular
signal messenger  and the regulator of gene activity [98-101].
The calcium concentration increases in cell under the action of EMFs
[102,103]. During the chronic exposure the calcium ions are released
from the membrane, which are membrane bound and are released into the cytosol . The influence of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
magnetic fields on the transport of Ca2+ was studied in a biological
system consisting of highly purified plasma membrane vesicles.
Vesicles were exposed for 30 min at 32°C and the calcium efflux was
studied using radioactive 45Ca as a tracer. The plasma membrane
vesicles were loaded with Ca2+. After 30 min the vesicular Ca2+ content
was decreased to approximately 50% of the initial value. Static magnetic
fields ranging from 27 to 37 mT and time varying magnetic fields with
frequencies between 7 and 72 Hz and amplitudes between 13 and
114 mT (peak) were used. At suitable combinations of static and time
varying magnetic fields directly interact with the Ca2+ channel protein
in the cell membrane, and it could be quantitatively confirm the model
proposed in .
|Calcium plays a leading role in EMF-induced cell differentiation, as
it is shown in the works cited below. Exposure to 50 Hz EFs significantly
enhanced proliferation in human neuroblastoma IMR32 (+40%) and
rat pituitary GH3 cells (+38%). These data provide the direct evidence
that EFs enhance the expression of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels on
plasma membrane of the exposed cells. The consequent increase in Ca2+ influx is likely responsible for the EF-induced modulation of neuronal
cell proliferation and apoptosis . The differentiating neural stem/
progenitor cells were exposed to EMNs (1 mT, 50 Hz), Cell exposure
promotes neuronal differentiation of cells by upregulating Ca(v)1-
channel expression and function .
|The recent review  provides support for a pathway of
the biological action of ultralow frequency and microwave EMFs,
nanosecond pulses and static electrical or magnetic fields via EMF
activation of voltage-gated calcium channels which leads to rapid
elevation of intracellular Ca2+, nitric oxide and in some cases at
least, peroxynitrite. Potentially therapeutic effects may be mediated
through the Ca2+/nitric oxide/cGMP/protein kinase G pathway.
Pathophysiological effects may be mediated through the Ca2+/nitric
|In works of research group of Kharkiv National University the EMFsinduced
condensation of chromatin in cell nuclei was demonstrated.
Chromatin – the main component of cell nucleus in the period when
cell is not dividing if presented in two forms – euchromatin (the main
part of chromatin) and the heterochromatin (the condensed, nonactive
chromatin). The simple method for determination of the portion
of heterochromatin by courting the number of heterochromatin
granules in a probe of cells and determination of average number per
cell was proposed for buccal epithelium cells – cells of cheek mucosa
. In a series of works it was demonstrated that the low energy
EMF (10 -100 μW/cm2) and static magnetic field (25 mT) induce
chromatin condensation (heterochromatinization) [38,47,110-114]. It
is supposed that this phenomenon reflects the process of regulation of
genetic activity at cytological level, because heterochromatinization is
connected with decrease of functional activity of chromatin [115,116].
The EMF-induced chromatin condensation is the necessary stage of
further thin process of regulation activity of individual genes . It
was shown the decrease of the functional activity of polytene (giant)
chromosomes in EMF-exposed Drosophila. In larvae developed from
the EMF-exposed eggs at the prepupal stage 3 of 8 chromosomal puffs
tested (71CE, 82EF, and 83E) had significantly smaller dimensions than
these in control . In our opinion, the mechanism of EMF-induced
chromatin condensation may include the primary effects connected
with changes in DNA-protein interactions induced by EMF, and also
the known mechanisms of chromatin remodeling during chromatin
condensation. The increase of the intranuclear concentration of calcium ions may be involved in the process of EMF-induced chromatin
|The problem of primary mechanism of EMF-induced effects on
the cellular level is far from its solving. It is difficult to identify the
leading cause of such effects. Sometimes the effects are registered in
some laboratories, but not registered in others. This phenomenon may
be partly explained by differences in the EMF sources and experimental
objects applied. The cells of different genotype [118,119] and of the
different of stage of differentiation  reveal different reactions to
the same EMFs. So, these differences may be taken into consideration
when experiments are panned and analyzed. The good established are
facts of oxidative stress and gene regulation changes after EMFs action.
But sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the primary cause of EMFinduced
effect and the secondary consequence of EMF action. This
consideration may be applied to the EMF-induced oxidation stress and
to gene regulation pattern, because these events accompany the action
of different unfavorable factors on cell. It is possible that such complex
reaction as cell reaction on EMFs has many competing mechanisms
and under different conditions to the fore is advanced one of them.
In our opinion the primary reaction to electromagnetic field may
be connected with the level of gene activity regulation. The reaction
of chromatin condensation is one of the “safe” cell reactions to EMF
which is always registered and which we can observe immediately
after applying of EMF. The investigation of molecular mechanisms
underlying this reaction can give new important information about the
primary mechanism of EMF action on cell.
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