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1 April 2004 Effect of 50 Hz Electromagnetic Fields on the Induction of Heat-Shock Protein Gene Expression in Human Leukocytes
Les A. Coulton, Paul A. Harris, Anthony T. Barker, A. Graham Pockley
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Abstract

Coulton, L. A., Harris, P. A., Barker, A. T. and Pockley, A. G. Effect of 50 Hz Electromagnetic Fields on the Induction of Heat-Shock Protein Gene Expression in Human Leukocytes. Radiat. Res. 161, 430–434 (2004).

Although evidence is controversial, exposure to environmental power-frequency magnetic fields is of public concern. Cells respond to some abnormal physiological conditions by producing cytoprotective heat-shock (or stress) proteins. In this study, we determined whether exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields in the range 0–100 μT rms either alone or concomitant with mild heating induced heat-shock protein gene expression in human leukocytes, and we compared this response to that induced by heat alone. Samples of human peripheral blood were simultaneously exposed to a range of magnetic-field amplitudes using a regimen that was designed to allow field effects to be distinguished from possible artifacts due to the position of the samples in the exposure system. Power-frequency magnetic-field exposure for 4 h at 37°C had no detectable effect on expression of the genes encoding HSP27, HSP70A or HSP70B, as determined using reverse transcriptase-PCR, whereas 2 h at 42°C elicited 10-, 5- and 12-fold increases, respectively, in the expression of these genes. Gene expression in cells exposed to power-frequency magnetic fields at 40°C was not increased compared to cells incubated at 40°C without field exposure. These findings and the extant literature suggest that power-frequency electromagnetic fields are not a universal stressor, in contrast to physical agents such as heat.

Les A. Coulton, Paul A. Harris, Anthony T. Barker, and A. Graham Pockley "Effect of 50 Hz Electromagnetic Fields on the Induction of Heat-Shock Protein Gene Expression in Human Leukocytes," Radiation Research 161(4), 430-434, (1 April 2004). https://doi.org/10.1667/RR3145
Received: 6 March 2003; Accepted: 1 November 2003; Published: 1 April 2004
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