Affiliations: [a] Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, St. Petersburg, Russia | [b] Institute of Cell Biophysics, Pushchino, Russia | [c] St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia | [d] Pavlov Institute of Physiology, St. Petersburg, Russia | [e] Almazov National Medical Research Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia | [f] School of Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK | [g] Research Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Pathology and Human Ecology, Kuz’molovsky, Russia
Corresponding author: Nikolay V. Goncharov, Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Toreza 44, St. Petersburg, 194223 Russia. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:Hypomagnetic fields can disrupt the normal functioning of living organisms by a mechanism thought to involve oxidative stress. In erythrocytes, oxidative stress can inter alia lead to changes in hemoglobin content and to hemolysis. Objective:To study the effects of hypomagnetism on the state of rat erythrocytes in vitro. Methods:Rat erythrocytes were exposed to an attenuated magnetic field (AMF) or Earth’s magnetic field (EMF), in the presence of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) as inducer of oxidative stress. Determinations: total hemoglobin (and its three forms – oxyhemoglobin, methemoglobin, and hemichrome) released from erythrocytes, spectral data (500–700 nm); oxygen radical concentrations, electron paramagnetic resonance. Results:AMF and EMF exposed erythrocytes were compared. After 4 h incubation at high TBHP concentrations (>700 μM), AMF exposed erythrocytes released significantly more (p<0.05) hemoglobin (Hb), mostly as methemoglobin (metHb). Conversely, after 24 h incubation at low TBHP concentrations (⩽350 μM), EMF exposed erythrocytes released significantly more (p<0.001) hemoglobin, with metHb as a significant proportion of the total Hb. Erythrocytes exposed to AMF generated more radicals than those exposed to the EMF. Conclusion:Under particular conditions of oxidative stress, hypomagnetic fields can disrupt the functional state of erythrocytes and promote cell death; an additive effect is implicated.
Keywords: Erythrocytes, haemoglobin, hypomagnetic field, reactive oxygen species, cell death