Growth retardation, testicular stimulation, and increased melatonin synthesis by weak magnetic fields (50 Hz) in Djungarian hamsters, Phodopus sungorus.

Research paper by M M Niehaus, H H Brüggemeyer, H M HM Behre, A A Lerchl

Indexed on: 29 May '97Published on: 29 May '97Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications


Male Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus; 45 animals per group) were either sham-exposed or exposed to a sinusoidal magnetic field for 56 days (Experiment 1: 50 Hz, 450 microTesla peak; max. dB/dt = 140 mTesla s(-1); 24 hrs day(-1)). Except for day 7, no effects were observed with respect to body weights during exposure. However, testicular cell numbers were significantly increased by exposure (tetraploid (4C): p=0.022; diploid (2C): p=0.039). Rectangular magnetic fields (Experiment 2: 360 microTesla; max. dB/dt = 2.5 Tesla s(-1)) caused a significant (p<0.001) but transient suppressing effect on body weights. Significant increases were also observed in testicular cell numbers (4C: p=0.034; haploid (1C): p=0.014) and in serum melatonin (p=0.001). It is concluded that weak magnetic fields may affect reproductive and physiological functions in the mammalian species tested and that the degree of these effects depends upon the fields' gradients.