Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) are widely employed in electrical appliances and different equipment such as television sets, mobile phones, computers and microwaves. The molecular mechanism through which ELF-EMFs can influence cellular behavior is still unclear. A hypothesis is that ELF-EMFs could interfere with chemical reactions involving free radical production. Under physiologic conditions, cells maintain redox balance through production of ROS/RNS and antioxidant molecules. The altered balance between ROS generation and elimination plays a critical role in a variety of pathologic conditions including neurodegenerative diseases, aging and cancer. Actually, there is a disagreement as to whether there is a causal or coincidental relationship between ELF-EMF exposure and leukemia development. Increased ROS levels have been observed in several hematopoietic malignancies including acute and chronic myeloid leukemias.Main methods
In our study, the effect of ELF-EMF exposure on catalase, cytochrome P450 and inducible nitric oxide synthase activity and their expression by Western blot analysis in myelogenous leukemia cell line K562 was evaluated.Key findings
A significant modulation of iNOS, CAT and Cyt P450 protein expression was recorded as a result of ELF-EMF exposure in both phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-stimulated and non-stimulated cell lines. Modulation in kinetic parameters of CAT, CYP-450 and iNOS enzymes in response to ELF-EMF indicates an interaction between the ELF-EMF and the enzymological system.Significance
These new insights might be important in establishing a mechanistic framework at the molecular level within which the possible effects of ELF-EMF on health can be understood.