A mechanism for action of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on biological systems

W. X. Balcavage, T. Alvager, J. Swez, C. W. Goff, M. T. Fox, S. Abdullyava, M. W. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report outlines a simple mechanism, based on the Hall Effect, by which static and low frequency (50-60 Hz) pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) can modify cation flow across biological membranes and alter cell metabolism. We show that magnetic fields commonly found in the environment can be expected to cause biologically significant interactions between transported cations and basic domains of cation channel proteins. We calculate that these interactions generate forces of a magnitude similar to those created by normal transmembrane voltage changes known to gate cation channels. Thus PEMFs are shown to have the potential of regulating flow through cation channels, changing the steady state concentrations of cellular cations and thus the metabolic processes dependent on cation concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume222
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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