Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on rat eye

Gianluca Giavaresi, Francesco Broccoli, Milena Fini, Paola Torricelli, Paola Versura, Alessandro Zati, Roberto Giardino

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The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) on the eye, particularly the crystalline lens, have not been thoroughly investigated until now. For this reason, simultaneously with a study on the therapeutic effect of PEMFs on ovariectomized rats, the possible side effects of PEMFs on the eye were investigated. Sixteen ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats (10 months old, body weight 400 ± 25 g) were randomized into four groups of four animals each. Three weeks after surgery, an ovariectomized group was used as shamtherapy (OVX), while the others were given to three different PEMFs (inten- sity 7 mT) for 16 weeks. Groups OVX-50 and OVX-100 were subjected to monodirectional sine-wave PEMFs with different frequencies (50 and 100 Hz), while Group OVX-72 was given a 72-Hz bidirectional square-wave PEMF. The eyes of all animals were examined with the slit lamp to evaluate the condition of crystalline lens and the fundus oculi at the beginning and end of the study. No cortical and nuclear lens opacities were observed in any of the animals nor were any retinal alterations seen. Histology showed no significant difference among the groups. Fibers of the crystalline lens were adherent, and there were no signs of the cytoplasmatic vacuolization typical of cataract. Ultrastructural microscopy confirmed the absence of lesions in all groups and showed normal intercellular junctions and intact epithelial organelles of the crystalline lens. Finally, the range of frequency of PEMFs used does not seem to cause damage to the eyes, confirming their safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalElectro- and Magnetobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics


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