In vitro effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields on oxidatively damaged rabbit red blood cells.
Bioelectromagnetics. 1997 ;18(2):125-31. PMID: 9084863
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields (0.2-0.5 mT) on rabbit red blood cells (RBCs) that were exposed simultaneously to the action of an oxygen radical-generating system, Fe(II)/ascorbate. Previous data obtained in our laboratory showed at the exposure of rabbit erythrocytes or reticulocytes to Fe(II)/ascorbate hexokinase inactivation, whereas the other glycolytic enzymes do not show any decay. We also observed depletion of reduced glutathione (GSH) content with a concomitant intracellular and extracellular increase in oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and a decrease in energy charge. In this work we investigated whether 50 Hz magnetic fields could influence the intracellular impairments that occur when erythrocytes or reticulocytes are exposed to this oxidant system, namely, inactivation of hexokinase activity, GSH depletion, a change in energy charge, and hemoglobin oxidation. The results obtained indicate the a 0.5 mT magnetic field had no effect on intact RBCs, whereas it increased the damage with Fe(II)/ascorbate to a 0.5 mT magnetic field induced a significant further decay in hexokinase activity (about 20%) as well as a twofold increase in methemoglobin production compared with RBCs that were exposed to the oxidant system alone. Although further studies will be needed to determine the physiological implications of these data, the results reported in this study demonstrate that the effects of the magnetic fields investigated are able to potentiate the cellular damage induced in vitro by oxidizing agents.