Effects of Exposure to a 50 Hz Magnetic Field on Melatonin in Rats

  • Masamichi Kato
  • Tsukasa Shigemitsu


There has been increasing concern over possible human health risks associated with exposure to alternating current (AC) magnetic fields induced by transmission and distribution systems. To accurately assess the possible health risk, it is necessary to conduct a wide range of studies with appropriate exposure systems both for animal and human subjects. Because AC transmission lines are three phase, the magnetic field at ground level tends to be elliptically polarized (Deno, 1976) and is represented fairly well by a rotating vector. In the laboratory, this rotating vector can be simulated by the sum of horizontal and vertical magnetic fields 90° out of phase. It is very important to allow the simultaneous exposure of as many animals as possible. An exposure facility must be designed to fill these requirements.


Magnetic Field Exposure System Pineal Gland Magnetic Field Effect Melatonin Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baum, J.W., Kuehner, A.V., Benz, R.D. and Carsten, A.L. (1991) A system for simultaneous exposure of small animals to 60 Hz electric and magnetic fields. Bioelectromagnetics 12:85-99p.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cohen, H.D., Graham, C., Cook, M.R. and Phelps, J.W. (1992) ELF exposure facility for human testing. Bioelectromagnetics 13:169-182P.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Deno, D.W. (1976) Transmission line fields. IEEE PAS 95:1600–1611.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kato, M., Honma, K., Shigemitsu, T. and Shiga, Y. (1993) Effects of exposure to circularly polarized 50-Hz magnetic field on plasma and pineal melatonin levels in rats. Bioelectromagnetics 14:97–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kato, M., Honma, K., Shigemitsu, T. and Shiga, Y. (1994) Horizontal or vertical 50 Hz. 1 μ T magnetic field have no effect on pineal gland or plasma melatonin of albino rats. Neuroscience Letters 168:205–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lerchl, A., Nonaka, K.O., Stokkan, K-A. and Reiter, R.J. (1990) Marked rapid alterations in nocturnal pineal serotonin metabolism in mice and rats exposed to weak intermittent magnetic fields. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 169:102–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lövsund, P. Öberg, P.A. and Nilsson, S.E.G. (1979) Influence on vision of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. Acta Ophtalmol. 57:812–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Miller, D.L., Miller, M.C. and Kaune, W.T. (1989) Addition of magnetic field capability to extremely low-frequency electric field exposure systems. Bioelectromagnetics 10:85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Misakian, M. (1984) Electrical parameters in 60-Hz biological systems and their existing measurement: A primer. NBS Technical Note 1191 (NTIS PB84-217793).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Olcese, J. and Reuss, S. (1986) Magnetic field effects on pineal gland melatonin synthesis: comparative studies on albino and pigmented rodents. Brain Res. 369:365–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Olcese, J., Reuss, S., Vollrath, L. (1985) Evidence for the involvement of the visual system in mediating magnetic field effects on pineal melatonin symthesis in the rat. Brain Res. 333:382–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Reuss, S. and Olcese, J. (1986) Magnetic field effects on the rat pineal gland: role of retinal activation by light. Neurosci. Lett. 64:97–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rogers, W.R., Reiter, R.L., Smith, H.D. and Barlow-Walden, L. (1991) Under some circumstances, combined electric and magnetic field exposure reduces serum melatonin concentration in nonhuman primates. Proc. 1991 Contractors Review, US Dept. Energy A-26.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shigemitsu, T., Suganuma, H. and Takeshita, K. (1991) Development of power frequency magnetic flux meter. CRIEPI, Abiko Research Laboratory Rep No U91041.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shigemitsu, T. and Suganuma, H. (1990) The design of an animal exposure system for investigating the biological effects of power frequency magnetic field. CRIEPI, Abiko Research Laboratory, Reo No U99035 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shigemitsu, T., Takeshita, K., Shiga, Y. and Kato, M. (1993) 50-Hz magnetic field exposure system for small animals. Bioelectromagnetics 14:107–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stehle, J., Reuss, S., Schroder, H., Henschel, M. and Vollrath, L. (1988) Magnetic field effects on pineal N-acetyltransferase activity and melatonin content in the gerbil-role of pigmentation and sex. Physiol. Behav. 44:91–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Welker, H.A., Semm, P., Willing, R.P., Commentz, J.C., Wiltschko, W. and Vollrath, L. (1983) Effects of an artificial magnetic field on serotonin N. acetyltransferase activity and melatonin content of the rat pineal gland. Exp. Brain Res. 50:426–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wilson, B.W. and Anderson, L.E. (1990) ELF electromagnetic field effects on the pineal gland, in “Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields: the question if cancer” Wilson, B.W., Stevens, R.G. and Anderson, L.E. (eds) chap 8 pp. 159–186.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wolpaw, J.R., Seegal, R.F. and Doweman, R. (1989) Chronic exposure of primates to 60 Hz electric and magnetic field: 1. Exposure system and measurements of general health and performance. Bioelectromagnetics 10:277–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yasui, M. and Otaka, Y. (1993) Facility for chronic exposure of rats to ELF magnetic field. Bioelectromagnetics 14:535–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yellon, S.M. (1991) An acute 60 Hz magnetic field exposure suppresses the nighttime melatonin rise in the pineal and circulation of the adult Djungarian hamster. Proc. 1991 Contractors Review, US Dept. Energy A-25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masamichi Kato
    • 1
  • Tsukasa Shigemitsu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyHokkaido University School of MedicineSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Abiko Research Laboratory Central Research Institute of Electric Power IndustryAbiko ChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations