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Volume 4, Pages 83-90
Research Article

Effects of Whole-Body 50-Hz Magnetic Field Exposure on Mouse Leydig Cells

1National Institute of Chemical Safety, Budapest, Hungary
2“National Frederic Joliot-Curie” Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene, Budapest, Hungary
3Clinical Laboratory, National Institute of Occupational Health, Budapest, Hungary
4Second Department of Gynecology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Received 26 July 2004; Revised 19 August 2004; Accepted 20 October 2004

Copyright © 2004 Zsolt Forgacs et al.


The main goal of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of whole-body magnetic field (MF) exposure on the steroidogenic capacity of Leydig cells in vitro. In four separate experiments, male CFLP mice were exposed to sinusoidal 50-Hz, 100-μT MF. The duration of exposure was 23.5 h/day over a period of 14 days. At the end of the exposure, interstitial (Leydig) cells were isolated from the testicles of the sham-exposed and exposed animals. The cells were cultured for 48 h in the presence or absence of 1, 10, or 100 mIU/ml human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The luteinizing hormone (LH) analog hCG was used to check the testosterone (T) response of the sham-exposed controls and to evaluate the possible effect of the whole-body MF exposure on the steroidogenic capacity of Leydig cells in vitro. Testosterone content of the culture media and blood sera was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA). In the cultures obtained from MF-exposed animals, the hCG-stimulated T response was significanly higher (p < 0.01) compared with the sham-exposed controls, while the basal T production of cells and the level of serum T remained unaltered. No MF exposure–related histopathological alterations were found in testicles, epididymes, adrenals, prostates, and pituitary glands. The MF exposure did not affect the animal growth rate and the observed hematologic and serum chemical variables. Our results indicate a presumably direct effect of whole-body MF exposure on the hCG-stimulated steroidogenic response of mouse Leydig cells.