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Effects Of Extremely Low-frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure On The Skeletal Muscle Functions In Rats

Sevgi Gunes, Belgin Buyukakilli, Selma Yaman, Cagatay Han Turkseven, Ebru Ballı, Burak Cimen, Gulsen Bayrak, Havva Didem Celikcan

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The aim of the present study was to systematically investigate the effects of chronic exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) on electrophysiological, histological and biochemical properties of the diaphragm muscle in rats. Twenty-nine newly weaned (24 days old, 23–80 g) female ( n = 15) and male ( n = 14) Wistar Albino rats were used in this study. The animals were randomly divided into two groups: the control group and the electromagnetic field (EMF) group. The control group was also randomly divided into two groups: the control female group and the control male group. The EMF exposure group was also randomly divided into two groups: the ELF-EMF female group and the ELF-EMF male group. The rats in the ELF-EMF groups were exposed for 4 h daily for up to 7 months to 50 Hz frequency, 1.5 mT magnetic flux density. Under these experimental conditions, electrophysiological parameters (muscle bioelectrical activity parameters: intracellular action potential and resting membrane potential and muscle mechanical activity parameter: force–frequency relationship), biochemical parameters (Na+, K+, Cl and Ca+2 levels in the blood serum of rats; Na+-K+ ATPase enzyme-specific activities in muscle tissue; and free radical metabolism in both muscle tissue and serum) and transmission electron microscopic morphometric parameters of the diaphragm muscle were determined. We found that chronic exposure to ELF-EMF had no significant effect on the histological structure and mechanical activity of the muscle and on the majority of muscle bioelectrical activity parameters, with the exception of some parameters of muscle bioelectrical activity. However, the changes in some bioelectrical activity parameters were relatively small and unlikely to be clinically relevant.