Int J Oral Biol.  2010 Dec;35(4):137-144.

Properties of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and their Effects on Mouse Testicular Germ Cells

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health, Cheongju University, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Oral Pathology, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea.


To evaluate the biohazard properties of an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF), we explored the physical properties of the ELF-EMF that generates the electric current induction in the secondary coil from the chamber of a primary solenoid coil. We subsequently explored the biological effects of a strong alternating electromagnetic field (EMF), ranging from 730-960 Gauss, on the mouse testis. Mice were exposed to an alternating EMF field induced by a rectangular electric current at 1, 7, 20, 40, and 80 Hertz, for 1, 3, 5, and 7 hours. The mouse testes were examined for proliferative activity and apoptosis using the in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) method and by immunostaining of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), respectively. We found that the electric current induction increased in the 6-8 Hertz range, and that exposure to an ELF-EMF induced the apoptosis of mouse spermatocytes. In situ TdT staining was found to be most prominent in 7 Hertz group, and gradually reduced in the 20, 40, and 80 Hertz groups. These data suggest that a strong EMF can induce reproductive cell death within a short time, and the harmful effects of the EMF are maximal at low frequency alternating EMFs.


extremely low frequency; electromagnetic field; mouse; testis; apoptosis
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