Investigation of transcriptional responses of juvenile mouse bone marrow to power frequency magnetic fields

Sylwia Kabacik, Heide Kirschenlohr, Claudine Raffy, Kevin Whitehill, Margaret Coster, Masumi Abe, Kevin Brindle, Christophe Badie, Zenon Sienkiewicz, Simon Bouffler*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    To seek alterations in gene transcription in bone marrow cells following in vivo exposure of juvenile mice to power frequency magnetic fields, young (21-24-day old) C57BL/6 mice were exposed to a 100. μT 50. Hz magnetic field for 2. h. Transcription was analysed by three methods, High Coverage Expression Profiling (HiCEP), Illumina microarrays and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR). A pilot HiCEP experiment with 6 exposed (E) and 6 non-exposed (NE) mice identified four candidate responsive transcripts (two unknown transcripts (AK152075 and F10-NED), phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (Picalm) and exportin 7 (Xpo7)). A larger experiment compared 19 E and 15 NE mice using two independent QRT-PCR assays and repeated microarray assays. No significant field-dependent changes were seen, although Picalm showed a trend to significance in one QRT-PCR assay (E/NE = 0.91; P=0.06). However, the study was underpowered to detect an effect of this magnitude (52% power at P=0.05). These data indicate the current experimental constraints in detecting small changes in transcription that may occur in response to magnetic fields. These constraints result from technical limitations in the accuracy of assays and biological variation, which together were sufficient to account statistically for the number of differentially expressed transcripts identified in the pilot experiment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-45
    Number of pages6
    JournalMutation Research
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We thank Prof. JC Metcalfe and Dr TR Hesketh for helpful discussions throughout the project. This project was funded in part by a grant to ZS, CB, SB and KB from the EMF Biological Research Trust (registered charity no. 1042132) and the National Institute for Health Research Centre for Public Health Protection Research at the Health Protection Agency.

    Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Bone marrow
    • Juvenile
    • Magnetic fields
    • Mouse
    • Transcription


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