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It is by now accepted that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields ELF-EMF (0–300 Hz) affect biological systems although the mechanism has not been elucidated yet. In this study the effect of ELFEMF on the number of apoptotic cells of K562 human leukemia cell line induced or not with oxidative stress and the correlation with heat-shock protein 70 (hsp70) levels was investigated. One sample was treated with H 2 O 2 while the other was left untreated. ELF-EMF (1 mT, 50 Hz) was applied for 3 hours. ELF-EMF alone caused a decrease in the number of apoptotic cells and a slight increase in viability. However, it increased the number of apoptotic cells. In cells treated with H 2 O 2 . hsp70 and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were increased by ELF-EMF. These results show that the effect of ELF-EMF on biological systems depends on the status of the cell: while in cells not exposed to oxidative stress it is able to decrease the number of apoptotic cells by inducing an increase in hsp levels, it increases the number of apoptotic cells in oxidative stress-induced cells.

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Influence of extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) on thyroid gland mast cells was investigated on male Mill Hill rats. Animals were exposed to EMF (50 Hz, 50 µT to 500 µT, 10 V/m) from 24 hours after birth, 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for three months when a part of animals (group I) was sacrificed, while the rest of them were subjected to recovery evaluation and sacrificed after one (group II), two (group III) and three (group IV) weeks following the exposure. Stereological analysis on toluidine blue-stained paraffin sections showed increased volume density of degranulated mast cells in all groups and, except in group III, and numerical density as well, implicating the sensitivity of thyroidal mast cells to power frequency EMFs. Since in our previous investigations, morphofunctional alterations of thyroid gland in rats exposed to ELF-EMF were found the contribution of released mast cell mediators to these changes could be presumed.

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