A short-term extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure increases circulating leukocyte numbers and affects HPA-axis signaling in mice

Stan de Kleijn, Gerben Ferwerda, Michelle Wiese, Jos Trentelman, Jan Cuppen, Tamas Kozicz, Linda de Jager, Peter W.M. Hermans, Lidy van Kemenade

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is still uncertainty whether extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) can induce health effects like immunomodulation. Despite evidence obtained in vitro, an unambiguous association has not yet been established in vivo. Here, mice were exposed to ELF-EMF for 1, 4, and 24 h/day in a short-term (1 week) and long-term (15 weeks) set-up to investigate whole body effects on the level of stress regulation and immune response. ELF-EMF signal contained multiple frequencies (20–5000 Hz) and a magnetic flux density of 10 μT. After exposure, blood was analyzed for leukocyte numbers (short-term and long-term) and adrenocorticotropic hormone concentration (short-term only). Furthermore, in the short-term experiment, stress-related parameters, corticotropin-releasing hormone, proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and CYP11A1 gene-expression, respectively, were determined in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. In the short-term but not long-term experiment, leukocyte counts were significantly higher in the 24 h-exposed group compared with controls, mainly represented by increased neutrophils and CD4 ± lymphocytes. POMC expression and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly lower compared with unexposed control mice. In conclusion, short-term ELF-EMF exposure may affect hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation in mice. Changes in stress hormone release may explain changes in circulating leukocyte numbers and composition. Bioelectromagnetics. 37:433–443, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-443
JournalBioelectromagnetics
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Keywords

  • ELF-EMF
  • immune response
  • in vivo exposure
  • leukocytes
  • stress

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    de Kleijn, S., Ferwerda, G., Wiese, M., Trentelman, J., Cuppen, J., Kozicz, T., de Jager, L., Hermans, P. W. M., & van Kemenade, L. (2016). A short-term extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure increases circulating leukocyte numbers and affects HPA-axis signaling in mice. Bioelectromagnetics, 37(7), 433-443. https://doi.org/10.1002/bem.21998