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Volume 4 (2004), Pages 75-82
Research Article

Alteration of Tight and Adherens Junctions on 50-Hz Magnetic Field Exposure in Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) Cells

1“Fodor József” National Center of Public Health, “Frédéric Joliot-Curie” National Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene, Budapest, Hungary
2“Fodor József” National Center of Public Health, National Institute of Chemical Safety, Budapest, Hungary
3Institute of Health Protection, Hungarian Defence Forces, Budapest, Hungary

Received 9 July 2004; Revised 23 August 2004; Accepted 23 August 2004

Copyright © 2004 Zoltan Somosy et al.


Adherens (AJ) and tight junctions (TJ), as integrated parts of the junctional complex, are multifunctional specialized regions of the cell membrane in epithelial cells. They are responsible for cell-to-cell interactions and also have great importance in cellular signaling processes including Wnt protein-mediated signals. As electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure is known to cause alterations in the function as well as supramolecular organization of different cell contacts, our goal was to investigate the effect of 50-Hz magnetic field (MF) exposures on the subcellular distribution of some representative structural proteins (occludin, β-catenin, and cadherin) found in AJ and TJ. Additionally, cellular β-catenin content was also quantified by Western blot analysis. 50-Hz MF exposures seemed to increase the staining intensity (amount) of occludin, cadherins, and β-catenin in the junctional area of MDCK cells, while Western blot data indicated the quantity of b-catenin was found significantly decreased at both time points after EM exposures. Our results demonstrate that MF are able to modify the distribution of TJ and AJ structural proteins, tending to stabilize these cell contacts. The quantitative changes of β-catenin suggest a causative relationship between MF effects on the cell junctional complex and the Wnt signaling pathway.