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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 237183, 10 pages
Research Article

Effect of 50 Hz Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on the DNA Methylation and DNA Methyltransferases in Mouse Spermatocyte-Derived Cell Line GC-2

1College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

Received 11 December 2014; Accepted 1 April 2015

Academic Editor: Davor Zeljezic

Copyright © 2015 Yong Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies have shown that the male reproductive system is one of the most sensitive organs to electromagnetic radiation. However, the biological effects and molecular mechanism are largely unclear. Our study was designed to elucidate the epigenetic effects of 50 Hz ELF-EMF in vitro. Mouse spermatocyte-derived GC-2 cell line was exposed to 50 Hz ELF-EMF (5 min on and 10 min off) at magnetic field intensity of 1 mT, 2 mT, and 3 mT with an intermittent exposure for 72 h. We found that 50 Hz ELF-EMF exposure decreased genome-wide methylation at 1 mT, but global methylation was higher at 3 mT compared with the controls. The expression of DNMT1 and DNMT3b was decreased at 1 mT, and 50 Hz ELF-EMF can increase the expression of DNMT1 and DNMT3b of GC-2 cells at 3 mT. However, 50 Hz ELF-EMF had little influence on the expression of DNMT3a. Then, we established DNA methylation and gene expression profiling and validated some genes with aberrant DNA methylation and expression at different intensity of 50 Hz ELF-EMF. These results suggest that the alterations of genome-wide methylation and DNMTs expression may play an important role in the biological effects of 50 Hz ELF-EMF exposure.