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Low dose magnetic fields do not cause oxidative DNA damage in human placental cotyledons in vitro


The biological impact of low dose magnetic fields generated by electric appliances present in the human environment is still uncertain. In this study, human placentas served as a model tissue for the evaluation of the potential effect of oscillating low intensity magnetic fields on the concentration of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) in cellular DNA. Cotyledons were dissected from placentas obtained immediately after physiological labours and exposed to magnetic fields (groups MF A, 2 mT, 50 Hz and MF B, 5 mT, 50 Hz) or sham exposed (group C) during an in vitro perfusion of 3 h. Cellular DNA was isolated, hydrolyzed and analyzed by HPLC. Native nucleosides were monitored at 254 nm and 8-OH-dG by electrochemical detection. Results were expressed as μmol 8-OH-dG/mol deoxyguanosine (dG). The concentrations of 8-OH-dG in group C, MF A and MF B were 28.45±15.27 μmol/mol dG, 62.80±31.91 μmol/mol dG, and 27.49±14.23 μmol/mol dG, respectively, demonstrating no significant difference between the groups. The results suggest that placental tissues possess a capacity to protect DNA against oxidative alterations by magnetic field of intensities previously shown to produce radical mediated DNA damage in rat brain cells in vivo and imbalances in electrolyte release of cotyledons under in vitro conditions.

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The authors express their gratitude to the Department of Physics, Agricultural University, Lublin, Poland, for theoretical calculations and for providing the electromagnetic device used in this study. The authors are also grateful to Harald Kühnel and Michael Balka (both Veterinary University of Vienna) and Wanda Rogowska (Medical University Lublin) for excellent technical assistance.

This study was supported by the Polish State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN 6 PO5E 04420).

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Correspondence to Marta Kankofer.

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Lopucki, M., Schmerold, I., Dadak, A. et al. Low dose magnetic fields do not cause oxidative DNA damage in human placental cotyledons in vitro. Virchows Arch 446, 634–639 (2005).

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  • Human placenta
  • Magnetic field
  • Oxidative DNA damage
  • 8-Hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine