Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) exhibited a time-dependent (0 to 60 min) increase in the release of lysozyme and lactate dehydrogenase (degranulation) when exposed to a static (direct current) magnetic field of 0.1 Tesla. When 1× 106 PMNs were treated with the calcium channel antagonists diltiazem, nifedipine, and verapamil before exposure to a magnetic field, no significant change in degranulation was detected compared to control and sham-exposed PMNs that were similarly treated. Likewise, magnetic field-induced inhibition of cell migration was prevented with the addition of these antagonists. Such changes in degranulation and cell migration occurred in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicated that these agents protected PMNs exposed to a magnetic field, and the damage to the cells that is mediated by magnetic field-stimulated Ca2+ influx might be preventable. In this regard, pharmaceutical agents might prove useful in protection against injurious electromagnetic field exposure.

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