McNamee, J. P., Bellier, P. V., Chauhan, V., Gajda, G. B., Lemay, E. and Thansandote, A. Evaluating DNA Damage in Rodent Brain after Acute 60 Hz Magnetic-Field Exposure. Radiat. Res. 164, 791–797 (2005).
In recent years, numerous studies have reported a weak association between 60 Hz magnetic-field exposure and the incidence of certain cancers. To date, no mechanism to explain these findings has been identified. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether acute magnetic-field exposure could elicit DNA damage within brain cells from both whole brain and cerebellar homogenates from adult rats, adult mice and immature mice. Rodents were exposed to a 60 Hz magnetic field (0, 0.1, 1 or 2 mT) for 2 h. Then, at 0, 2 and 4 h after exposure, animals were killed humanely, their brains were rapidly removed and homogenized, and cells were cast into agarose gels for processing by the alkaline comet assay. Four parameters (tail ratio, tail moment, comet length and tail length) were used to assess DNA damage for each comet. For each species, a significant increase in DNA damage was detected by each of the four parameters in the positive control (2 Gy X rays) relative to the concurrent nonirradiated negative and sham controls. However, none of the four parameters detected a significant increase in DNA damage in brain cell homogenates from any magnetic-field exposure (0– 2 mT) at any time after exposure. The dose–response and time-course data from the multiple animal groups tested in this study provide no evidence of magnetic-field-induced DNA damage.