EMF Health-effects Research

Melatonin and N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone block 60-Hz magnetic field-induced DNA single and double strand breaks in rat brain cells.

Lai H, Singh NP

J-Pineal-Res. 1997 Apr. 22(3). P 152-62. 1997

Abstract: In previous research, we have found an increase in DNA single- and double-strand breaks in brain cells of rats after acute exposure (two hours) to a sinusoidal 60-Hz magnetic field. The present experiment was carried out to investigate whether treatment with melatonin and the spin-trap compound N-tert- butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone (PBN) could block the effect of magnetic fields on brain cell DNA.

Rats were injected with melatonin (1 mg/kg, sc) or PBN (100 mg/kg, ip) immediately before and after two hours of exposure to a 60-Hz magnetic field at an intensity of 0.5 mT.

We found that both drug treatments blocked the magnetic field-induced DNA single- and double-strand breaks in brain cells, as assayed by a microgel electrophoresis method. Since melatonin and PBN are efficient free radical scavengers, these data suggest that free radicals may play a role in magnetic field-induced DNA damage.

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