Differential effects of low frequency, low intensity (<6 mG) nocturnal magnetic fields upon infiltration of mononuclear cells and numbers of mast cells in Lewis rat brains

Author(s): Cook LL, Persinger MA, Koren SA


Immediately after inoculation to induce experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, 64 female Lewis rats were exposed to either a reference condition (<10 nT) or to one of two frequencies (7 Hz, 40 Hz) of magnetic fields whose two intensities (either 50 nT or 500 nT) were amplitude-modulated for 6 min once per hour between midnight and 8 h for 15 nights. Rats that had been exposed to the 7 Hz, low intensity fields displayed fewer numbers of foci of infiltrations of mononuclear cells compared to all other groups that did not differ significantly from each other. Rats exposed to the 5 mG (500 nT), 40 Hz magnetic fields displayed more foci in the right thalamus while those exposed to the 5 mG, 7 Hz fields displayed more foci in the left thalamus. Numbers of mast cells within the thalamus were also affected by the treatments. These results suggest that weak magnetic fields can affect the infiltration of immunologically responsive cells and the presence of mast cells in brain parenchyma. Implications for the potential etiology of 'electromagnetic sensitivity' symptoms are discussed.

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