The influences of extremely low frequency magnetic fields on clonidine-induced sleep in 2-day-old chicks

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Summary1 It has been shown that magnetic fields (MFs) affect a variety of biological effects in animal brains. There have been few experiments on the effects of MFs on sleep. Therefore, we investigated whether extremely low frequency (ELF) MFs affect the sleep induced by clonidine, a central α2-adrenoceptor agonist. Clonidine produced dose-related increase of the sleeping time and dose-related decrease of the onset time in 2-day-old chicks.2 Exposure of chicks to MFs (5, 10, 20 G; for 3, 6, 9, 12 h) significantly increased the clonidine-induced sleep time as a direct function of intensity and duration of MF application. Clonidine reduced noradrenaline or tyrosine in the brain, an effect which was not further changed in animals exposed to MF.3 To determine whether the gamma amino butyric acid A (GABAA)/benzodiazepine (BZD) receptor system is involved in the decrease in clonidine-induced sleep caused by activation of central α2-adrenergic systems, we examined exposure of chicks to the effects of the BZD receptor antagonist flumazenil (0.5 mg kg−1, i.p.) and GABAA antagonist bicuculline (0.1 mg kg−1, i.p.) on clonidine-induced sleep. Bicuculline and flumazenil inhibited the increase of clonidine-induced sleep time by MFs. Clonidine or MFs did not change GABA levels in the brain.4 These results suggest that MFs can increase clonidine-induced sleep via a change of GABAA and BZD receptor system irrespective of the concentration of GABA or noradrenaline in the brain of 2-day-old chicks.

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