It is well documented that extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF MF) produced effects on the function of nervous system in humans and laboratory animals. Dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways have been implicated in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Recently involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in OCD-like behavior is suggested. Hence, the present study was carried out to understand the involvement of dopamine, serotonin and NO in ELF MF induced OCD-like behavior. Swiss albino mice were exposed to ELF MF (50 Hz, 10 G) for 8 h/day for 7, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days by subjecting them to Helmholtz coils. OCD-like behavior was assessed in terms of marble burying behavior (MBB) test. Results revealed that ELF MF induced time dependant MBB, on 7th, 30th, 60th, 90th, and 120th exposure day.
Further, levels of dopamine, serotonin and NO after 120 days of ELF MF exposure were determined in the regions of the brain. The neurohumoral studies revealed that exposure to ELF MF increased NO levels in cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus, and levels of dopamine and serotonin remain unaffected. As OCD-like behavior after ELF MF exposure was associated with higher levels of NO with no significant change in serotonin and dopamine. The effect of such exposure was studied in groups concurrently treated with NO modulators, NO precursor, l-ARG (400 mg/kg) or NOS inhibitor, l-NAME (15.0 mg/kg) or 7-NI (10.0 mg/kg). These treatments revealed that NO precursor exacerbated and NOS inhibitors attenuated ELF MF induced OCD-like behavior with corresponding changes in the levels of NO.