Static magnetic fields affect calcium fluxes and inhibit stress-induced apoptosis in human glioblastoma cells

Laura Teodori, Wolfgang Göhde, Maria Giovanna Valente, Fausto Tagliaferri, Dario Coletti, Barbara Perniconi, Antonio Bergamaschi, Claudia Cerella, Lina Ghibelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epidemiologic data revealed increased brain tumor incidence in workers exposed to magnetic fields (MFs), raising concerns about the possible link between MF exposure and cancer. However, MFs seem to be neither mutagenic nor tumorigenic. The mechanism of their tumorigenic effect has not been elucidated. Methods: To evaluate the interference of MFs with physical (heat shock, HS) and chemical (etoposide, VP16) induced apoptoses, respectively, we exposed a human glioblastoma primary culture to 6 mT static MF. We investigated cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) fluxes and extent of apoptosis as key endpoints. The effect of MFs on HS- and VP16-induced apoptoses in primary glioblastoma cultures from four patients was also tested. Results: Static MFs increased the [Ca2+]i from a basal value of 124 ± 4 nM to 233 ± 43 nM (P <0.05). MF exposure dramatically reduced the extent of HS- and VP16-induced apoptoses in all four glioblastoma primary cultures analyzed by 56% (range, 28-87%) and 44% (range, 38-48%), respectively. However, MF alone did not exert any apoptogenic activity. Differences were observed across the four cultures with regard to apoptotic induction by HS and VP16 and to MF apoptotic reduction, with an individual variability with regard to apoptotic sensitivity. Conclusion: The ability of static MFs to reduce the extent of damage-induced apoptosis in glioblastoma cells might allow the survival of damaged and possibly mutated cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Apoptosis
  • Calcium fluxes
  • Chemical and physical stresses
  • Flow cytometry
  • Human glioblastoma cells
  • Microfluorometry
  • Static magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology


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