Rodent cell transformation and immediate early gene expression following 60-hz magnetic field exposure

Elizabeth K. Balcer-Kubiczek, Xiao Feng Zhang, George H. Harrison, Weltona McCready, Zhong Ming Shi, Lin Huang Man, John M. Abraham, Luther L. Ampey, Stephen J. Meltzer, Maria C. Jacobs, Christopher C. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Some epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to power frequency magnetic fields (MFs) may be associated with an elevated risk of human cancer, but the experimental database remains limited and controversial. We investigated the hypothesis that 60-Hz MF action at the cellular level produces changes in gene expression that can result in neoplastic transformation. Twenty-four hour 200 μT continuous MF exposure produced negative results in two standard transformation systems (Syrian hamster embryo cells and C3H/10T 1/4 murine fibrobists) with or without postexposure to a chemical promoter. This prompted a reexamination of previously reported MF-induced changes in gene expression in human HL60 cells. Extensive testing using both coded and uncoded analyses was negative for an MF effect. Using the same exposure conditions as in the transformation studies, no MF-induced changes in ornithine decarboxylase expression were observed in C3H/10T 1/4 cells, casting doubt on a promotional role of MF for the tested cells and experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1198
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • 60-Hz magnetic field
  • Heat
  • Neoplastic transformation
  • ODC
  • Ribosomal genes
  • SHE cells
  • TPA
  • X rays
  • c-fos
  • c-myc
  • β-actin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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