Time-varying magnetic fields of 60Hz at 7mT induce DNA double-strand breaks and activate DNA damage checkpoints without apoptosis

Jiyeon Kim, Yeojun Yoon, Seungho Yun, Gwan Soo Park, Hae June Lee, Kiwon Song

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The potential genotoxic effect of a time-varying magnetic field (MF) on human cells was investigated. Upon continuous exposure of human primary fibroblast and cervical cancer cells to a 60Hz MF at 7mT for 10-60min, no significant change in cell viability was observed. However, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) double-strand breaks (DSBs) were detected, and the DNA damage checkpoint pathway was activated in these cells without programmed cell death (called apoptosis). The exposure of human cells to a 60Hz MF did not induce intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, suggesting that the observed DNA DSBs are not directly caused by ROS. We also compared the position and time dependency of DNA DSBs with numerical simulation of MFs. The Lorentz force and eddy currents in these experiments were numerically calculated to investigate the influence of each factor on DNA DSBs. The DNA DSBs mainly occurred at the central region, where the MF was strongest, after a 30-min exposure. After 90min, however, the amount of DNA DSBs increased rapidly in the outer regions, where the eddy current and Lorentz force were strong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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